Southern African Development Community

Lord Sheikh:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to support the Southern African Development Community.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government maintain a dialogue with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on a range of regional issues, including Zimbabwe. Thematic groups are the major forum for policy dialogue between SADC and donor countries. The Department for International Development (DfID) co-chairs, with SADC, thematic groups on transport, food security and agriculture.

Since 2003, DfID has been supporting regional economic communities in Southern Africa, including SADC, through the regional trade facilitation programme (£16.1 million) and a new Southern African regional aid for trade programme ($100 million). Of this amount, $67 million will be allocated for trade infrastructure related to the North-South Corridor programme, which will directly benefit SADC countries.

DfID provides direct support to the SADC Secretariat (based in Gaborone, Botswana), including funding and technical assistance. DflD’s new regional climate change programme (£7.5 million over five years) includes direct support to SADC to provide policy advice and support in international climate change negotiations, in particular in applications for multilateral funding to support adaptation to climate change in the region.