Bilateral Consultation on Development Cooperation between Flanders and South Africa
On Tuesday 15 March, the Bilateral Consultation between Flanders and South Africa took place online, co-chaired by National Treasury and Flanders Chancellery and Foreign Office. Partners participating included the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), the South African Weather Service (SAWS), the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the University of Cape Town (UCT), the Water Research Commission (WRC), the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Also the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) attended the meeting.
Main purpose of the consultation was to review and discuss the state of play regarding projects implemented under the Third Country Strategy Paper (CSP III, 2017-2021) on development cooperation between Flanders and South Africa, which focused on Climate Change Adaptation and the Green Economy. Although many projects experienced implementation challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they are progressing well and will achieve their intended results. The last two projects of CSP III were approved at the end of last year, and started in January.
The Government of Flanders is reorienting the development cooperation with South Africa towards a stronger economic and political cooperation. The final project approved under CSP III, implemented by UNIDO, comprises opportunities which can create a bridge to the future cooperation. These include collaborations between Flemish and South African knowledge institutions and umbrella organisations of companies active in the green economy.
In conclusion, both parties confirmed that they look forward to an ongoing collaboration and continued partnership between Flanders and South Africa.