South Africa will launch its own development aid agency before mid-2011. The South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA) will work with other donor agencies to coordinate development programmes, mainly in Africa.
Although the government is hoping for contributions from the private sector, most of the funding will come from public money, said Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. [...]
Since 2001 the South African government has channelled its aid contributions through the African Renaissance Fund (ARF), which is administered by the department. Much of the assistance provided by the ARF has focused on conflict resolution and peacekeeping in various countries, including Mali, Zimbabwe, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. [...]
South Africa was recently invited to join the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) group of major emerging markets. Jonathan Glennie, a research fellow of the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure at the UK-based Overseas Development Institute, commented that other developing countries, such as India, China and Brazil, seeking to raise their international profile and strengthen political and trade ties, had also set up aid agencies in recent years.
South African development assistance in 2006 was estimated to be between US$ 363 million and US$ 475 million, equalling 0.18% of South Africa’s GDP. Governing party, the African National Congress (ANC) proposes a foreign aid goal of 0.2-0.5% of GDP.
While it is unclear how big a priority science and innovation will be for SADPA, Lindiwe Lusenga, deputy director general of international cooperation in the Department of Water Affairs, and a former member of staff in the Department of Science and Technology (DST), expects the agency to respect the current priorities of departments.
“My view is that it will be inter-institutional. If it does something on innovation, it should partner with the Technology Innovation Agency [an agency of the DST]. On water, it could partner with the Water Research Commission. All these institutions will have to have a say, ” she says.
Technical cooperation accounts for a third of Brazil’s US$ 1.5 million development assistance for 2010, according to The Economist magazine.