International Cooperation and Development

Southern Africa and Indian ocean

Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region comprises 14 African countries with very diverse political and socioeconomic backgrounds. Countries in the region are members of regional communities including the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

With 19 member countries, COMESA aims to maintain the formation of a large economic and trade unit capable of overcoming some of the barriers faced by individual countries. The IOC strengthens relations and regional solidarity among its 5 member islands for sustainable development and enhanced regional cooperation. The SADC, made up of 16 member countries, promotes and achieves equitable and sustainable development through increased regional integration.

Our main areas of support in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean are trade and regional integration. We cooperate at regional level to support these communities and their development policies. The cooperation addresses cross-regional issues based on 3 thematic priorities:

  • peace and security

  • regional economic integration

  • regional management of natural resources

We place emphasis on supporting the development of regional infrastructure for road transport, sustainable energy, water, and information and communications technology. Additionally, we support regional political cooperation and capacity building for the SADC.

Our programmes

The Regional Indicative Programme for 2014-2020 covers Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, as well as Eastern Africa.

SADC policies and capacities are allocated €86 million in support. This SADC sub-regional envelope identifies 3 priority areas for cooperation, as well as 1 cross-cutting area, namely:

  • peace, security and regional stability (€15 million)

  • regional economic integration (€47 million)

  • regional natural resource management with a focus on the SADC Regional Agriculture Policy (€9 million)

  • institutional capacity building (€19 million)

We have allocated additional funds for the SADC region to advance climate change related actions, to improve the management and development impact of south-south migration flows, and to strengthen the management of the Okavango river basin.