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.