Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says a South African Development Agency (SADPA), in the mould of the US Aid agency, is on the cards for the fourth quarter of this year.
“You will recall that in our 2010 budget vote, we made mention of efforts to create the … SADPA, which intends to drive a development partnership programme in order to build innovative, proactive and sustainable partnerships to advance African development,” the minister said in her budget vote yesterday. “DIRCO is currently finalising a Bill, and we envisage that SADPA will be operational during the last quarter of 2011.”
Nkoane-Mashabane in Nvember said SADPA wold be a reality before the end of the 201011 financial year that ended in March. President Jacob Zuma announced the creation of the agency during his first State of the Nation Addreess in June 2009. “We will establish a [SADPA] to promote developmental partnerships with other countries on the continent,” he said. “South Africa will continue to assist in the reconstruction and development of the African continent especially in post-conflict situations.” Nkoane-Mashabane shortly afterwards said the agency would be set up “funds permitting”.
In November 2009 she said planning around the establishment of the organisation was “at the conceptual development stage”.
SADPA, which has already been approved by the Cabinet, will operate along the same lines as USAid, an initiative that provides developing countries with funding for economic and humanitarian projects, as part of America’s foreign policy objectives, Business Day reported in November last year. It added that through the multimillion-rand African Renaissance Fund, managed by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, SA is one of the largest development aid providers in Africa. The African Renaissance Fund and all its activities will eventually be absorbed by the new aid agency, which will reduce the bureaucracy and duplication.
Between 2006 and 2008, SA was the largest emerging market foreign direct investment contributor in Africa, with investments worth R2.6 billion, according to the African Investor magazine.