Development cooperation in South Africa

Governance and Human Rights

South African & France, Partners in development

In recent years, France has become one of the key development partners of South Africa with commitments exceeding 1.8 billion Euros since 1994.

During the State visit, France and South Africa have signed a new Partnership Framework document outlining the priorities and instruments of the French cooperation in South Africa for 2011-2013.

The French programmes for the next 3 years –representing a commitment of at least €1 billion- are aligned with South Africa’s priorities and will focus on supporting infrastructure development, promoting sustainable and integrated urban development, and strengthening skills development, higher education and research. Protection of the environment and combating climate change will be prioritised within all projects and the French Development Agency (AFD) will seek, in particular, to support the development of innovative solutions to combat global warming and promote a sustainable energy policy at the municipal level.

Furthermore, both countries will host Reciprocal Seasons, which will consist of a French Season in South Africa in 2012 and a South African Season in France in 2013. These seasons, held in different regions of each country, will cover a wide range of fields, including culture, trade and investment, science and technology, and tourism, with wide media coverage. They will aim to entrench a deeper mutual understanding between the two countries.

Further programmatic priorities will include:

 Financial support for the investment programmes of parastatals, local authorities and private companies through long-term loans and technical cooperation.

 Assisting municipalities to manage water and sanitation as well as developing sustainable integrated transport networks in cities to reduce transport-related carbon emissions.

 Support sustainable urban development through the financing of social infrastructure, especially housing.

 Research, training programmes and experience sharing will be undertaken by French Institute in South Africa (IFAS) on urban migration, environmental challenges and urban architecture.

 Supporting the development of the SME sector.

Offering professional and skills development training through partnerships with various institutions create training centres for technicians through public-private partnerships such as the one involving Schneider Electric South Africa at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT).

Through various bursaries and research opportunities, France will seek to promote excellence and capacity development across numerous academic disciplines.

Supporting French language teaching in High Schools and universities as well as within various South African public institutions since language is an important requirement for South Africans to further their relationships with the rest of the African continent.

The French Embassy coordinates French cooperation initiatives in South Africa. Its presence includes the French Agency for Development (AFD), technical assistants in South African institutions, three research teams from the Institute for Research and Development, the Agricultural Research Centre for International Development and IFAS.

The Embassy also implements projects supporting democratic governance through the Civil Society Development Fund.

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