2017 Intergovernmental Negotiations on Development Cooperation with SADCEnlarge image SADC Executive Secretary Dr Tax and Mr Schneider, BMZ (© BMZ)
The development negotiations between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Federal Republic of Germany, which are held every two years, were successfully concluded in Berlin on 28 June 2017. The delegations were headed by SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Tax and Alois Schneider, Head of Division for Southern Africa at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Ambassadors and representatives of the embassies of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe also took part in the negotiations.
In his opening statement, Dr Stefan Oswald, Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at the BMZ, spoke about Germany’s Africa initiatives (G20 Africa Partnership, Marshall Plan with Africa), designed to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Among other things, the focus is on creating an environment conducive to business and investment. So the German priorities are closely aligned with the SADC priorities/SADC Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan – RISDP 2015-2020, which aim to improve infrastructure development, industrialisation and market integration in southern Africa.
Enlarge image Dr Tax and Mr Schneider with members of the delegations (© BMZ)
In the course of the negotiations, the participants reaffirmed the joint goal of cooperation, namely to strengthen regional cooperation for the benefit of the people and to reduce poverty. This is also the purpose of continued cooperation in the priority areas of regional economic integration, cross-border water management and natural resource management, including enhancing climate change resilience. Furthermore, Germany is continuing its support for strengthening national/regional cooperation arrangements in the SADC region.
A sum of 47.5 million euros in funding has been pledged for the years 2016-17, taking the total amount made available to SADC since the 1990s to around 400 million euros. Strengthening SADC and other regional organisations in Africa is a major long-term priority for the German Government. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB) and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) are heavily involved in pursuing this goal.