The Conflict Management and Peacebuilding Division (CMPB) of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) held a stakeholder meeting at the ISS in Pretoria on 9 May 2013. This workshop formed part of a broader project on ‘Enhancing South Africa’s Post-conflict Development and Peacebuilding Capacity in Africa’. The aim of the closed stakeholder workshop was to share information on the progress of the South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA), and to discuss the observations obtained in relation to South Africa’s engagement in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (which constituted the first field case study of the project). Approximately 36 stakeholders attended the workshop. These were primarily representatives from the three case study embassies, namely DRC, Burundi and South Sudan as well as from the South African government departments that are engaged in the DRC including the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). In addition representatives from the major NGOs engaged in peacebuilding and academics that constitute the advisory panel for the project were in attendance.
Mr Shoayb Casoo of SADPA gave an overview on the role of the SADPA, a small agency under DIRCO, and its institutional arrangements. Thus far SADPA has completed almost all logistical requirements and is only awaiting final proclamation by the president. In addition, he affirmed that the agency’s budget and organizational structure were already approved, and that its policy framework and guidelines have been completed. SADPA will replace the African Renaissance Fund. This fund was established in 2000 and its legal framework is now dated, given the changing peace and security environment. SADPA is intended to address the gaps and to provide better, smarter and more cohesive attempts at development. It is envisaged that DIRCO will continue to drive discussion and dialogue, while SADPA will be a delivery mechanism. Their envisaged methodology is to co-craft policy with recipients and to ensure the application of South-South principles. They will also sharpen and broaden their delivery methods, for example, using modern monitoring and evaluation systems and employing modalities linked to the size of the project (micro-financing). Of importance is the consideration of how to position SADPA to have maximum impact and to have it operate within the framework of partnerships.
Dr Siphamandla Zondi of the Institute for Global Dialogueprovided a broad overview of South Africa’s engagement in Africa. He also sought to characterise South Africa’s role globally. He highlighted that South Africa’s foreign policy is complex and that no single narrative dominates. South Africa is made up of various histories and the term rainbow nation calls for a mutual compromise from all the various sectors that form the new South Africa. He indicated that South Africa has been trying to maintain the balance between its values and interests, and that it still believes there can be coexistence between the various contradictory factors.
Prof Cheryl Hendricks from the University of Johannesburg and ISS Project Leader presented an outline of the DFID project and the findings of research on the project in DRC.
The subsequent discussion covered the following issues:
- Is South Africa focusing on the right kinds of interventions?
- How do we define South African NGO involvement, since many NGOs are funded by European organisations and many NGOs consider themselves as Pan-African?
- How can South Africa better coordinate with partners?
- Was training given by South Africa pre-scribed or requested? There is a need for sustained interventions, requiring co-location, and trust building.
- With regards to South African peacekeeping missions: are we talking about the impact of South Africa or a general impact of a mission?
- What is DIRCO’s involvement with SAPS?
- How do we retain those that have been trained in their positions in their respective countries?
- How do we offset the need for balance vs demand?
To download the full workshop report, click here