The SDC's regional programme in Southern Africa aims to reduce the levels of poverty, inequality and vulnerability in the countries of the region. Food security, the fight against HIV/AIDS and humanitarian aid are the main focus areas.

After many decades of conflict and turmoil, the region of Southern Africa has now somewhat stabilised, with socio-economic indicators on the rise. It is nevertheless still one of the regions of the world where inequality is most prevalent, which translates into a high level of violence and insecurity.

The SDC's development work in the region focuses on two major issues: the fight against HIV/AIDS and enhancing food security, which includes improving seed and increasing its availability. Humanitarian aid is provided on an ad hoc basis, in response to specific crises or natural disasters.

The SDC's support aims to reinforce policy at the national level of the member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and facilitate the development and implementation of regional standards on these different issues.

The SADC is composed of 15 member states: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The SDC runs specific country programmes in Mozambique and Tanzania, and has a cooperation office in both. The DRC, though a member of the SADC, comes under the regional programme for the Great Lakes.

Highlights of the four coming years 2013-2016

The regional programme Southern Africa will combine both instruments of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid.

SDC will improve its articulation of its regional approach with its country offices, the global programmes and UN agencies active in the region and supported by SDC.
In view of the limited means of SDC, the concentration on two out of previously three domains of intervention will increase its efficiency and effectiveness:

  • Agriculture/Food security: Increased resilience in food security in particular of smallholder farmers in SADC region with a focus on the promotion of a harmonised seed system, post harvest management and Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • HIV/AIDS: Prevention of HIV/AIDS among young women and men and access to care and support to contribute to the overall goal of reducing HIV/AIDS incidence and vulnerabilities in particular among children and youth.
  • Governance (equitable, responsible and accountable allocation and use of public resources in the two domains) and gender (agriculture women farmers, vulnerability of women and girls in HIV/AIDS) will be tackled as transversal themes.

In the regional Programme Southern Africa (RPSA) the approach will bring together regional policy interventions and their translation into selected countries where also interventions on the ground and pilots are taking place. The component in Zimbabwe will contribute to the regional objectives in agriculture/food security and HIV/AIDS. Water, as a key component of food and health security, will be also addressed. Part of the flexible budget will be allocated to health or governance issues in a broader perspective depending on the context’s evolution.

Beyond the RPSA, the Global Programme Climate Change will increase its mitigation portfolio focused on South Africa.