UK to inject R1,3bn into SADC

Britain’s department for international development is to spend ’20-million this year and up to ‘100-million in the next five years, chiefly in South Africa. It believes this will indirectly benefit South Africa’s neighbours. Last year, the Commission for Africa identified regional economic communities as the “building blocks” of the continent’s development. The department has drawn up a plan for the Southern African Development Community to boost trade, create employment and combat HIV and Aids. Foreign investment in Africa is 18 percent of gross domestic production, the lowest of any developing region. “There are too many different regulatory regimes . . . to do business in Africa,” department director-general Nemat Shafik said. Large-scale investment in infrastructure has been identified as the key to driving economic growth in Africa. An estimated US$10-billion (R62,5-billion) a year is needed. Shafik said that among the department’s investment aims over the next four years were to: increase South African supermarkets’ regional sourcing by 30 percent; increase horticultural exports by five percent; reduce the waiting time at border posts by 30 percent; reduce transport costs for landlocked countries by 25 percent; cover 10 percent of the costs of reducing predictable hunger; reduce the malaria-related mortality rate by 50 percent; curb the HIV infection rate; and increase TB detection and treatment by 50 percent. “The preparation of projects will be done by Nepad and the building by countries themselves,” Shafik said. ‘ Times.

March 2006
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