Southern Africa Regional Development Cooperation Strategy

Speeches Shim

United States Agency for International Development/Southern Africa’s (USAID/SA) strategic goal over the next five years (October 2020- September 2025) is to advance the region toward becoming more integrated, prosperous, and ultimately self-reliant. This goal can only be achieved when the needs of both women and men in the region are addressed. The Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS) is unlike previous USAID/SA strategies and integrates what was traditionally South Africa’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy. The strategy also exclusively focuses on driving self-reliance through strategically allocating its resources and partnering with three main stakeholders: the private sector, governments, and citizens to catalyze inclusive economic growth, strengthen governance, and advance the resilience of people and systems. Through this regional and partnership-based approach in programming, USAID/SA will contribute to the Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR) of the individual countries that make up the region.

The USAID/SA strategy covers eleven countries in the Southern African region including: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The regional landscape is complex with countries often belonging to more than one economic community or organization. All the countries in the region are members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa are also members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), while Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are also members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). This adds to the complexity of fostering inclusive economic growth and addressing the remaining development challenges in Southern Africa. It also provides an opportunity to align USAID/SA’s projects and activities to the development priorities of the host country governments and the regional economic communities and/or organizations to which the different countries belong.

Regional challenges need to be addressed through a regional approach and programming that drive inclusive economic growth. In order to achieve the goal of an integrated, prosperous, and ultimately self-reliant region the strategy focuses on catalyzing inclusive economic growth, strengthening governance and advancing the resilience of people and systems in the region, and to leverage South Africa’s strategic advantage to compound development gains. The RDCS allows USAID/SA to address last-mile challenges in South Africa as a transition country, whilst simultaneously tackling regional issues that strengthen inclusive growth.

This CDCS was developed and finalized in 2020 as COVID-19 became a global pandemic. USAID/Southern Africa will continue to monitor its potential impact and if needed, the Mission will re-evaluate the strategic approach.

Last updated: May 24, 2022

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