The Southern African Development Community (SADC) concluded the Bilateral Negotiations on Development Cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany on 5 and 6 November 2019 in Gaborone, Botswana.
The Negotiations have enabled SADC and Germany to review implementation of on-going programmes and agree further areas of cooperation, in line with the goal of the development cooperation between SADC and Germany which is to deepen regional integration for the benefit of the people in the SADC Region. As a result, a commitment amounting 30.0 million Euro was made for both technical and financial cooperation in 2019/2020, bringing the total envelop to 40.36 million Euro with the earlier commitments that was made in 2018/2019. Through these commitments, the cooperation will continue to support, among others, Regional Economic Integration (covering also Peace, Security and Good Governance); Transboundary Water Management; Transboundary Natural Resource Management and Resilience to Climate Change; and Strengthening National-Regional Linkages.
In her remarks, Dr. Tax emphasized that industrialization remains the overarching priority of SADC, supported by infrastructure development as a key enabler to industrialization and peace and security as a a pre-cursor to development. She reiterated that the SADC theme of the Year: “A Conducive Environment of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation”, which was adopted at the last Summit that was held in August 2019 in Dar es Salaam, the United Republic of Tanzania, clearly demonstrates this aspiration. She also called for special attention to the growing effects of climate change and associated devasting impacts, as well as the enhancement of adaptation and resilience to climate change, that need to be addressed under special programmes of regional dimensions.
In the same vein, SADC called for alignment of support by the German cooperation to this thrust, to comprehensively support the SADC priority of industrialisation and the sustainable development in the SADC region, through alignment to SADC strategies, in particular to the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015 2063. By so doing, support shall be in conformity with the SADC Resources Allocation Framework, whereby 50% of resources are dedicated to support Industrialisation and Infrastructure in support of regional integration; 15% of resources for Peace and security cooperation; and 35% of resources to support Special programmes of regional dimension. SADC also appealed for increased financial support, to at least have the same shares as technical support (50% for TC and 50% for FC), and to include Women Economic Empowerment in future areas of cooperation.
During the Negotiations, the Agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) concerning Financial Cooperation in 2016 and 2017 was also signed to enable the implementation of the “Project Preparation and Development Facility” amounting 13.5 million Euro and the “Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) Financing Facility for up to 12.0 million euro.
The next Bilateral Negotiations between the SADC Secretariat and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany will take place in Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany in 2021. The SADC delegation was led by H.E Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC Executive Secretary, while the delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany was led by Mr Alois Schneider, Head of Division of Southern Africa, South Africa at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The German Delegation was also accompanied by H.E. Ambassador Ralf Breth, of the Federal Republic of Germany to Botswana and SADC. The European Union Delegation in Botswana participated as observers, and was led by the Head of Delegation, H.E. Ambassador Jan Sadek.