Establishment of the African Renaissance
and International Co-Operation Fund
Renaissance and International Co-operation Fund
Act (Act No 51 of 2000) [.pdf document] was
promulgated on 22 January 2001. The Act provides
for the establishment of the African Renaissance
and International Co-operation Fund for the purpose
of enhancing international co-operation with and
on the African Continent and to confirm the Republic
of South Africa's commitment to Africa.
The Act also repealed the existing Economic Co-operation
Promotion Loan Fund Act, 1968 (Act No. 68 of 1968),
as amended by the Economic Co-operation Promotion
Loan Fund Amendment Act, 1986 (Act No. 29 of 1986)
and the Economic Co-operation Promotion Loan Fund
Amendment Act, 1998 (Act No. 16 of 1998).
The establishment of the African Renaissance and
International Cooperation Fund will enable the South
African government to identify and fund, in a proactive
· Co-operation between South Africa and other
countries, particularly African countries;
· The promotion of democracy, good governance;
· The prevention and resolution of conflict;
· Socio-economic development and integration;
· Humanitarian assistance, and;
· Human resource development.
Apart from the transfer of the unexpended money
currently in the Economic Co-operation Promotion
Loan Fund, the new Fund will also appropriate funds
from Parliament. Furthermore, it will comprise money
received from the repayment of any loan made from
the new Fund; interest received on any loan made
from the new Fund, including interest derived from
any investment of money standing to the credit of
the new Fund; and/or money accruing to the new Fund
from any other source, such as donor funds.
The principal financial implication of the Act
will be the repeal and dis-establishment of the
Economic Co-operation Promotion Loan Fund, once
that Fund's debit balance has been cleared by either
retrieving outstanding loans, changing outstanding
loans into grants or writing-off of outstanding
debt. The total amount owing in terms of loans under
the previous Fund is R80.355 million.
The introduction of the African Renaissance and
International Co-operation Fund Act is historic
for three reasons:
· For the first time the concept of "African
Renaissance", is encapsulated in legislation
in South Africa, and, for that matter, by a legislature
on the African Continent;
· Secondly, the Act introduces, for the first
time, a framework and basis for the South African
government to identify and fund, in a proactive
way, projects and programmes aimed at the six regulatory
framework principles mentioned above, by the granting
of loans or rendering of other financial assistance
within the African Renaissance framework.
· Thirdly, the Act introduces, also for the
first time as far as the South African government
is concerned, a mechanism through which donor (third
party) funds could be channeled to recipients and/or
joint tripartite projects.
The African Renaissance and International Co-operation
Fund will be multilaterally oriented, and will provide
for proactive involvement in projects and programmes
involving organisations and parties other than the
governments of countries (although not excluding
the governments of countries).
By comparison, the previous Fund was a bilaterally
oriented fund used reactively, after receipt of
formal government requests. It is envisaged that
the type of projects for which the new Fund will
be used will be imaginative, proactive and multilaterally
inclined, and be designed in such a way that its
benefits will be sustainable and will have a multiplier
effect on other sectors.
The new Fund shall be under the control of the
Director-General: Foreign Affairs, who, as the accounting
officer, will keep records and accounts of all payments
into and out of the Fund. An Advisory Committee
will be established to make recommendations to the
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance on the
disbursement of funds, as spelt out in the Act.
The Committee will comprise the Director-General:
Foreign Affairs, three members to be nominated by
the Minister of Foreign Affairs and two members
to be nominated by the Minister of Finance.
Funds which are provided for the promotion of democracy
and good governance and/or the prevention and resolution
of conflict shall be made available upon the recommendation
of the Advisory Committee and approval by the Minister
of Foreign Affairs after consultation with Minister
Loans or other financial assistance, excluding
the promotion of democracy and good governance and/or
the prevention or resolution of conflict, shall
be granted or rendered in accordance with an agreement
entered into between the parties and a project proposal,
upon the recommendation of the Advisory Committee,
for approval by the Minister of Foreign Affairs
after consultation with the Minister of Finance.
It should finally be noted that it is not the intention
to create the impression that unlimited resources
will be available once the Fund is established.
In addition, only the broad outlines of how the
Fund is to be utilised exist. Detailed terms of
reference will have to be developed, including a
policy and regulatory framework for the utilisation
of the Fund, selection criteria for projects and
evaluation and monitoring criteria.
Furthermore, framework mechanisms for disbursing
funds, for accounting and monitoring purposes and
for the receipt of funds will have to be developed.
In short, not all deserving projects can be accommodated,
but serious consideration will be given to initiatives
that would "make a difference" in the
Southern African region and on the Continent.
Overview of the African Renaissance Vision
The rebirth, revival and renewal of Africa are
encapsulated in the vision of an African Renaissance
and in the belief that this will truly be the African
Century. The African Renaissance vision is an all-embracing
concept that draws its inspiration from the rich
and diverse history and cultures of Africa. It acknowledges
Africa as the cradle of humanity, whilst providing
a framework for the modern Africa to re-emerge as
a significant partner in the New World Order. This
framework touches on all areas of human endeavour;
political, economic, social, technological, environmental
At its core, African Renaissance is an economic
and social development agenda for Africa. It is
a comprehensive and far-reaching global plan of
action to tackle poverty and the developmental needs
of Africa. This package of measures is also designed
to address the intricate challenges posed by globalisation.
In order to achieve the social and economic regeneration
and development of the Continent, the pre-eminent
issue of poverty alleviation, through sustained
people-centred development, must be vigorously pursued,
so as to provide an improved quality of life for
all Africa and her people. The engine for poverty
alleviation and people-centred development is the
economy. However, there are two further pre-requisites
for the success of social and economic regeneration.
These are security and stability. There can be little
sustainable development and growth in conditions
of instability and conflict.
Lastly, a number of crosscutting priorities in
support of the above four areas exists. These are
the cooperation priorities. It is vital that Africa
and the South develop a common agenda and then,
in a co-ordinated fashion, secure the support of
the developed world for the achievement of the goals
of this agenda.