On Tuesday 15 October the governments of Flanders and South Africa held their 10th Bilateral Consultation on Development Cooperation in Pretoria. The purpose of this meeting was to review and assess the projects implemented under the previous development cooperation programme (2011-2016) on job creation, SME development, social entrepreneurship and social innovation, as well as to discuss the state of affairs of the current programme (2017-2021), which addresses climate change adaptation and the inclusive green economy. Exchange and discussion on successes of projects, lessons learned and challenges in implementation are important to better monitor the programme, to align projects and to reflect on the way forward.
Flanders has allocated 25 million Euro to the 2017-2021 programme, to be used for projects that enable South Africa’s transition to a climate-resilient and inclusive society. Projects are being implemented by multiple actors, including government, civil society, multilateral organisations and academia.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Government of Flanders, the National Treasury, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
Following the bilateral consultation, a delegation from Flanders, headed by Delphine Delouvroy, Head of Division: Global Challenges, visited two of the civil society projects on Climate Change Adaptation that started earlier this year. "Towards an Inclusive Green Economy: Showcasing Sustainable Land Use Management Projects in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region" is a Green Economy Project in the Hoedspruit area that shows the benefits of productive land and water custodianship. Implemented by the UNESCO Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region, in partnership with Hoedspruit Hub and Conservation South Africa, the project works with around 250 livestock and crop farmers of the Bapedi Ba Dinkwanyane people who practice subsistence and semi-commercial forms of agriculture, adjacent to one of South Africa’s most iconic nature reserves, the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve.
The Belgium Campus ITversity manages the "Micro-aquaponics Lappies: Proof of concept of community embedding" project. The project is an innovative and integrated technological concept, delivering a step-by-step guide to design, implement and monitor the community-based embedment of modular smart aquaponics systems. It is implemented in two areas in Gauteng province, one of those being the South West TVET College - Dobsonville Campus, Soweto, where both students as well as the local community will be participating in the project.