Flanders and South Africa have been working together on youth development since 1997. In May of this year, Mr Sven Gatz, Flemish Minister for Culture, Youth and Media visited South Africa to celebrate the 20th anniversay of this intense cooperation. The current 5-year programme 2015-2020 focuses on ‘Promoting and Up-Scaling Youth Volunteering in Civil Society Organizations’. As part of the youth volunteer programme, a digital toolkit was set up under the ‘My hands and heart’ website. This toolkit should provide an online database for youth volunteer workers.
On 29 September, the Government of Flanders donated an amount of 1,1 million euros to vzw Apopo in Mozambique. Apopo trains giant pouched rats in the detection of tuberculosis.
The Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, H. E. Mr. Geert Bourgeois, undertook a 11 day visit to South Africa, Malawi and Mozambique from 15 to 26 August 2017. The visit had a strong focus on the development cooperation between Flanders and these 3 partner countries, and included site visits to projects throughout the region. In addition, Mr. Bourgeois also met with a number of political leaders in the three countries and attended activities that showcase the wide variety of the cooperation with the Southern African region: be it academic cooperation, economic cooperation and trade, human rights, and so on.
On Tuesday 20 June, the bilateral consultation on development cooperation between Flanders and South Africa took place in Pretoria. The objective of the meeting, hosted by the International Development Cooperation unit of the National Treasury, was to present the context of development cooperation between Flanders and South Africa, and to discuss the state of affairs regarding the implementation of the second Country Strategy Paper (CSP II, 2012-2016). Furthermore, the four CSP II projects on SME development, social entrepreneurship and outcome-based performance instruments that are implemented by South African government were presented. In the second part of the meeting, the new Country Strategy Paper (2017-2021), that will focus on climate change and the green economy, was presented and discussed. Both partners were satisfied with the quality of the dialogue and the outcome of the meeting, which took place in a constructive atmosphere.
From 25 May to 1 June, the General Representation of the Government of Flanders had the pleasure of hosting Mr Sven Gatz, Flemish Minister for Culture, Media, Youth and Brussels Affairs in South Africa. The main focus of his visit was the cooperation between South Africa and Flanders on youth policy, a cooperation that is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Another emphasis of the visit was culture, and more particularly the ASSITEJ World Congress and Theatre Festival for Children and Young People in Cape Town.