South-South Cooperation Trust Fund

Background and Objectives

Enhancing regional cooperation in Africa is one of the AfDB's key strategic priorities under the Medium Term Strategy for 2008-2012, as is developing intra and interregional cooperation among middle income countries (MICs) and least developed countries (LDCs). At the MICs conference co-organized by the AfDB and the World Bank in March 2008 in Cairo, African MICs have requested that the AfDB take a more proactive role in promoting partnerships and knowledge sharing opportunities within the region and with other regions, such as Asia and Latin America.

Over the years, experiences in the international development community have shown that sharing development knowledge and expertise is crucial to finding relevant, effective and efficient solutions to common development challenges. Developing countries have accumulated effective development practices, and an increasing number of developing countries have demonstrated strong achievements in various domains, which are of great use to support other countries development efforts. There remains enormous potential and urgency in further exploring and harnessing the opportunities for South-South cooperation, especially in Africa. Among the current impediments to greater South-South cooperation are limited institutional capacity, lack of financial resources and a disconnection between supply and demand.

In recent years, Brazil has emerged as a major player in the international development community, having demonstrated successful poverty reduction through sustainable economic development. Brazil has also been pivotal in promoting south-south cooperation. In March 2011, the Board of Directors of the AfDB approved an agreement between the Federative Republic of Brazil on the establishment of the South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (SSCTF). The objective of the South-South Cooperation Trust Fund is to support African countries in mobilizing and taking advantage of development solutions and technical expertise available in the South. The Fund will also seek to promote South-South partnerships and knowledge sharing among MICs and between MICs and LDCs in Africa. The ultimate goal is to introduce and implement solutions in all the areas of focus that can actually have a high development impact.

Areas of Focus / Sub-Sectors

  • Agriculture and Agri-business
  • Private Sector Development
  • Clean energy/Environment
  • Governance
  • Health
  • Social Development

The fund will support:

  • Provision of technical assistance in the preparation of policy and sector studies, research and analysis;
  • Capacity building and human resources development;
  • Organization of seminars, workshops, conferences and consultations and knowledge sharing of experiences and,
  • Implementation and piloting of innovative approaches to solve development challenges in Regional Member Countries

Target Beneficiaries

Regional member countries of the AfDB.

Indicative Timeframe and Proposed Outcomes

The fund will be used to finance South-South cooperation initiatives and activities to benefit the Bank's RMCs. The fund will be utilized to facilitate South-South knowledge sharing, learning from best practices, know how and approaches developed, applied and proven useful by countries in the South. These activities can range from facilitating relatively small scale knowledge exchange projects within the South (e.g. South-South cooperation database and publications, technical exchange programs, field trips, South-South knowledge sharing seminars, etc.) to supporting the identification of South-South cooperation opportunities and the implementation of more extensive cooperation programs, involving two or more countries of the South, aimed at addressing key development issues.

Proposed Administration and Governance Structure

AfDB's Partnerships and Cooperation Unit is responsible for managing the fund. The unit will issue a call for proposals for annual programming. An inter departmental technical review committee, chaired by the head of the unit, will assess the technical and financial viability of all proposals. An oversight committee, consisting of representatives of contributing donors, will ensure the strategic orientation and overall policy governing the use of the fund through its annual meetings. Proposals requiring a budget of US$ 100,000 or less will be approved by the technical review committee. Annual financial and progress reports will be submitted to the oversight committee.

Resources Required

The Bank seeks financial contributions by traditional and emerging donors, as well as by MICs in Africa to convert this fund into a multi-donor facility.

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