12 July 2012
South Africa’s African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund provided R268-million in aid to 19 countries in 2011/12, the International Relations and Cooperation Department said in Cape Town on Wednesday.
The bulk of the allocations went to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to Cuba, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane said in a statement.
In all, R126-million went to assist the DRC undertake elections in November last year, while R100-million went to Cuba to help support the country’s economic recovery following the 2008 hurricanes.
Driving the African Renaissance
South Africa’s assistance also included R15-million allocated to the International Atomic Energy Agency for the improvement of veterinary laboratory capacities in Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC and Senegal.
A further R13-million was granted to an international diplomatic training programme at the department’s diplomatic academy, which benefited diplomats from South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda, Mauritius and Comoros.
The department also spent R10.6-million to help transport humanitarian assistance donated by Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states to the people of Somalia, as well as R5-million for its participation in SADC and African Union (AU) observer missions during the elections in Seychelles, Zambia and the DRC.
Under the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund, allocations of R327-million were made in the 2009/10 financial year, with R300-million going to Zimbabwe to contribute towards supporting the country’s economic recovery programme.
The remaining funds were allocated to Sierra Leone (R24-million) to fund 20 Cuban doctors offering medical services, and to the African Research Centre (R3-million), which serves as a focal point for ombudsman offices in Africa.
In 2010/11, a total of R4-million went to cover the AU’s Observer Mission to the elections in Sudan. A further R141-million was recommended for other projects, but these were only followed through in the next financial year.
‘Enhancing international cooperation in Africa’
The African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund was established in 2001; it replaced the Economic Cooperation Promotion Loan Fund.
According to the department, it was created “for the purpose of enhancing international cooperation with and on the African continent and to confirm South Africa’s commitment to Africa”.
Funds come from Parliament, money received from the repayment of loans made by the fund, interest received on loans made, as well as other sources such as donations.
It is under the control of the Director-General of Foreign Affairs, who acts as the accounting officer.
An advisory committee – made up of the Director-General, three members nominated by the International Relations Minister and two members nominated by the Finance Minister – makes recommendations on funding to the International Relations and Finance Ministers.