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Flemish development cooperation makes an active contribution towards poverty reduction in Southern African, a region which has one of the highest poverty and inequality rates worldwide. As a reliable and predictable donor, our focus is on a limited number of sectors which reduce this inequality. In this way, we enable partner countries to achieve an increased level of prosperity and welfare for all their citizens in the long term.

The global agenda on sustainable development and poverty reduction is indicative for the Flemish development policy. This framework acknowledges that poverty reduction is not merely a matter of social measures. Economic growth is likewise a prerequisite for the creation of prosperity as well. However, this growth is only sustainable if it respects the earth’s carrying capacity. Within the framework of its development policy, Flanders consequently seeks to challenge the dimensions of sustainable social, economic and ecological development.

In order to prevent fragmentation of resources, Flanders focuses its development cooperation on Southern Africa, and more specifically in three partner countries: Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. We aim to support only one sector per partner country. By bundling together technical expertise, follow-up capacity and financial resources, we can create more added value for development opportunities in these partner countries.


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 have 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 pursues a number of crosscutting themes: gender, children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, sustainable development, good governance, and climate change. The implementation of the programmes remains operationally focused on the Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal. However, the strategic entry point will be at national level. Twenty-five million Euros have been allocated to the entire programme portfolio.

Across the current project portfolio, the main focus lies on the development of the social economy and social enterprises. Attention is 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. Many projects within the CSP II have been based on the success of earlier projects, and the current project portfolio mostly represents a continuation of initiatives launched under CSP I. The Government of Flanders has worked closely with state and non-state actors and has relied on the networks of its managing agents and implementing partners.

The current CSP with South Africa can be found here: CSP South Africa.pdf

Flanders and Mozambique have co-operated closely since 2002, when it became the second partner country of Flemish development cooperation. A Memorandum of Understanding between Flanders and Mozambique was signed in 2004. The focus of the co-operation was health care, more specifically HIV/AIDS. In June 2006 a first Country Strategy Paper (CSP) was launched for the period 2006-2010. The focus of the co-operation remained on health care. A significant amount of the budget of Euro 25 million was allocated to budget support for the health sector in order to support the Government of Mozambique in strengthening the health sector and in training health care workers. In Tete province, projects focused on combatting HIV/AIDS and training of health care workers, as well as building infrastructure for the health care sector. Thirdly, the CSP I covered some projects in education, namely technical and vocational training.

The second CSP 2011-2015 focused exclusively on “access to health”. The overall objective of the CSP II is to support the development and implementation of an efficient and effective health policy at national level and in Tete province. More specifically, projects under CSP II aim to support (1) the development of a corps of trained and motivated health care workers; (2) health research and monitoring of diseases and epidemics; (3) the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights; and (4) the promotion of good nutrition (practices). Cross-cutting themes are gender and HIV/AIDS. As in CSP I, a significant amount of the budget is reserved for budget support to the health sector, making the Ministry of Health of Mozambique a priority partner for the Flemish development cooperation. Other implementing partners are: the World Health Organisation, Doctors without Borders, Population Services International (PSI) Mozambique, Pathfinder International Mozambique, Clinton Health Access Initiative, the International Centre for Reproductive Health of Ghent University, Forum Mulher and Apopo (a Flanders’ based international NGO).

With the third CSP (2016-2020) the governments of Flanders and of Mozambique opt for continuity in their development cooperation. The health sector remains at the heart of the cooperation with overall Health System Strengthening as the central concern and ambition. However, an additional focus will be placed on service provision and accountability towards the realization of the right to the highest attainable standard of health of adolescents (10-19 years old), with special attention to adolescent girls.

The current CSP with Mozambique can be found here: CSP Mozambique.pdf

Development cooperation between Malawi and Flanders started in 2006 with support to programmes related to agriculture, food security and health. In 2008, the Government of Flanders opened an office in Lilongwe, and a first Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2009-2013 was jointly developed by both governments. After a mid term evaluation in 2012 the Government of the Republic of Malawi and the Government of Flanders mutually agreed to continue the cooperation in the sector of agriculture and food security – the focus of the second CSP 2014-2019 -, as agriculture is the backbone of the Malawian economy and needs further development, while food and nutrition security is a prerequisite towards improving the well-being of all Malawians.

Under the CSP II a budget of Euro 25 million is provided, of which around Euro 1.5 million is allocated yearly to budget support for the agriculture sector. Other implementing partners are the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Department of Agricultural Extension Services of the Government of Malawi, Natural Resources College, the Small Scale Livestock Livelihoods Program, the Farmers Union, the World Agroforestry Centre, the United Nations Development Programme, ACE Africa and the United Nations World Food Programme.

The current CSP with Malawi can be found here: CSP Malawi.pdf



A comprehensive overview of all development cooperation projects per country, as well as all the Government of Flanders’ Official Development Assistance (ODA) contributions, can be consulted in this database



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