In August 2001, Flanders and South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Development Cooperation. A deliberate choice was made to focus Flemish support on three provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Free State. Flemish development cooperation with South Africa was initially aimed at poverty reduction, the promotion of democratisation at provincial and municipal levels, and the continuation of long-term and extended relations between Flanders and South Africa. In 2005, a first five-year Country Strategy Paper (CSP I, 2005-2008) was drafted jointly and approved by both governments. It focused on agriculture and food security, job creation through small enterprise development, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
In 2011, a new Country Strategy Paper 2012-2016 (CSP II) was approved by both governments. Flanders and South Africa agreed to focus on two priority areas in the sector of investment and employment in South Africa: (1) job creation through small business development, and (2) smallholder agriculture and food security. In addition, CSP II pursued a number of crosscutting themes: gender, children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, sustainable development, good governance, and climate change. Twenty-five million Euros were allocated to the entire programme portfolio. Across the CSP II portfolio, the main focus lied on the development of the social economy and social enterprises. Attention was given to entrepreneurship education and skills development, business incubators and mentorship, social and green enterprises and cooperatives, as well as to the promotion of an enabling environment for SME’s to start-up and develop. The text of CSP II can be found here: CSP II South Africa.pdf.
CSP III (2017-2021) was approved in June 2017 and is focused on contributing to the evidence base for climate change adaptation (CCA) as a means for advancing South Africa’s transition to a climate resilient society and an inclusive adaptive green economy. The shared focus of the Governments of South Africa and Flanders is the support of innovative solutions to the current challenges related to climate change, bringing about an inclusive green economy which addresses the country’s triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Three basic conditions (inclusiveness, gender equality and good governance) which promote inclusive development have been identified and will be fully integrated into the implementation of the CSP III. A budget of twenty-five million Euros will be allocated to a mix of state and non-state actors.
The current CSP with South Africa can be found here: CSP South Africa.pdf.