Australia has a clear national interest in the security, stability and prosperity of
sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the world’s most rapidly growing regions, its development and economic prospects remain positive. The high rates of growth and increased political stability are creating opportunities for Australian trade and investment, particularly in the mining sector. Poverty in the region has declined steadily over the last two decades, and natural resource rents provide opportunities to finance further development gains. However, the benefits of economic growth are not widely shared contributing to the high levels poverty in the region.
Our aid is investing in sectors that drive economic growth, trade and job creation. We will deliver activities that boost agricultural productivity and markets, improve the management of the extractives sector and its revenues, and build the skills and knowledge of individuals to contribute to Africa’s development. Our development assistance predominantly focuses on the Indian Ocean region (East and Southern Africa).
Beth Wanjero talks to an adviser from the sustainable development initiative about points raised in the training manual relating to her farm near Gilgil, Kenya (credit: DFAT).
Mining offers African countries an unparalleled opportunity to stimulate growth and reduce poverty. If well managed, the extractives sector can drive innovation; generate revenue to fund critical social services and upgrade productive physical infrastructure; and directly and indirectly create jobs. Our investment in effective governance of the extractives sector is leveraging off Australia’s highly relevant expertise to share with African partners. Our aid is:
- supporting enabling environments to attract and retain investment
- building skills to regulate and manage the extractives sector to give business increased certainty, while improving mining revenue management and overall governance.
Our aid is investing in improving education through:
- providing Australia Awards to African men and women for post-graduate training and education, including scholarships to study at Australian universities
- Australian volunteer placements in select countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop local capacity, share skills and build relationships in sectors key to economic growth and job creation.
Australia is investing in the agriculture sector, which plays a key role in Africa’s development in terms of broad-based economic growth, jobs and reducing poverty. Agriculture supports the livelihoods of 80 per cent of Africans, and provides employment for about 60 per cent of the economically active population1. Australia is sharing highly relevant technical, research and agri-business expertise, including through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). We are supporting market development to promote growth and improve livelihoods. Our programme focuses on better research and innovative technology adoption, and on boosting private sector activity.
Nejjemba Teopista, farmer of Kayunga and farmer's group animator, holding her hoe after working in a communal garden at Kangulumira where food is grown to feed the poor and sick (credit: Sean Sprague, CARITAS).
In health, we are also working with non-government, public and private sector partners to deliver the services needed for healthy and productive communities, including maternal and child health programmes in East Africa and water and sanitation programmes in Southern Africa. The Africa-Australia Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) is helping people in need to improve agricultural productivity and increase access to maternal and child health and water and sanitation services. The programme supports innovative private sector partnerships that extend the reach and quality of services to communities. It also supports women’s economic participation and empowerment as well as lifting the living standards and status of people with disability. We are providing:
- access to maternal and child health programmes for more than 50,000 people, including through life-saving vaccines and supervised births by a skilled birth attendant
- access to safe and sustainable water and appropriate sanitation for more than 2 million people, and lessons on good hygiene for over 42,000 people.
Australia is also helping sub-Saharan communities build resilience to respond to current and emerging humanitarian crises, in partnership with UN agencies, and international and Australian non-government organisations.
Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.
Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.
1 African Development Bank Group, Agriculture Sector Strategy 2010-14, January 2010, p. iv