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Danish-South African StrategicSector Cooperation Programs

The bilateral development assistance to South African has been gradually phased out since 2007, but new strategic programs are continuously being introduced at the Embassy of Denmark in Pretoria. these programs address strategic and mutually beneficial sectors in which Denmark can bring expertise and knowledge to the table.

Energy Partnership Program

A cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector was initiated under the climate envelope of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when a Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments was signed in October 2011. The next step was for the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Buildings to jointly formulate a program with the Government of South Africa (Department of Energy), on the provision of Danish technical assistance to contribute to the South African transition to a low carbon energy sector. The first phase of the cooperation has addressed the transfer of Danish expertise in the field of renewable energy, wind energy, energy efficiency and climate change. The second phase is designed to focus more narrowly on capacity development for energy sector planning with the Department of Energy and renewable energy integration into the national power system with ESKOM.

Strategic Sector Cooperation supporting relation building, development challenges and trade

The Strategic Sector Cooperation programs are integrating three different aspects of the Danish-South African relations by promoting Denmark as a nation, while supporting South African development agendas and paving the way for investments and trade in the private sectors.

Strengthening political relations

While working towards very tangible activities and objectives, the SSC programs deliver continuous improvements of the political relation between Denmark and South Africa on a more general level. This is implemented by cross-sectoral and cross-departmental engagements throughout the program activities. The cooperation is thus branding Denmark as a partner with a balanced approach to environmental, social and economic issues and puts Denmark on the map as a result-oriented and politically influential international partner with a respectful and humble attitude.

Development agenda

The programs further supports South Africa in achieving the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) and National Water & Sanitation Master Plan (NW&SMP) by providing implementable input to policies. The Strategic Water Sector Program addresses issues of financing and research and innovation to ensure the sustainability of government policies, and both directly and indirectly contributes to reaching the 2030 SDGs on e.g. on clean water and sanitation (6), affordable and clean energy (7) and sustainable cities and communities (11).

Trade diplomacy

Last, but not least, the SSC program integrates the trade and investment agenda in the daily engagements with the sectors. As private sector consultations and partnerships are commonly perceived to bring a balanced and long term perspective to the programs, Danish companies are brought in to provide solutions and support commercial interests in the program, ultimately improving the sustainability of the program while promoting Public-private partnerships and Danish exports to South Africa.

South Africa and Denmark currently has two Strategic Sector Cooperation programs, one focusing on water and one focusing on smart and sustainable urban development.

The water program is in full implementation and the urban development program is still under formulation.