DFID and the Southern Africa Trust Enter into a Grant Agreement

The Southern Africa Trust, together with the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland acting through the Department for International Development (DFID), have entered an accountable grant arrangement to the value of £4,800,000.
The grant, which falls under the UK-South Africa Development Partnerships (USDPA) in Africa programme came to effect on September 1,2017 and will end on August 31, 2019.

“The grant is part of an ongoing partnership between the Trust and DFID and reflects the agency’s commitment to addressing issues crucial to the development of southern Africa,” said Bhekinkosi Moyo, Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Africa Trust.
“It is through such programmes that we are able to continue our work on collecting efforts to eradicate poverty,” he said.

About the Trust

The Southern Africa Trust is an independent, regional, non-profit agency registered in South Africa and established in 2005. It is governed by a Board of Trustees drawn from the Southern Africa region and staffed by a team from across the SADC region and beyond. Its mandate, as stipulated in the Trust Deed is to undertake activities that contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequality including activities related to public policy, official poverty reduction processes, human rights, stakeholder engagement, human and economic development, research, training, and capacity building. In delivering its mandate, the Trust endeavours to strengthen the voice of poor people in public policy processes, to reduce poverty and inequality in Southern Africa in ways that promote regional linkages and a regional agenda.

Southern Africa Trust Puts People at Centre of SADC Industrialisation Week

Press Release – July 26, 2017

The Southern Africa Trust (The Trust) is supporting efforts to bring together key stakeholders in support of the second SADC Industrialisation Week ahead of the 37th SADC Summit in South Africa next month.

The second SADC Industrialisation Week will be held from 31 July to 04 August 2017 at Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The week-long programme brings together private sector representatives, government officials and civil society organisations under the theme Partnering with the private sector in developing industry and regional value chains.

“Through our support, we aim to include key stakeholders, such as the civil society organisations, the media and the public, in the discussion on industrialisation in the region,” says the Trust Project Manager for Private Public Partnerships Ulrich Klins.

“We see the Industrialisation Week as a good opportunity to broaden the awareness and understanding of industrialisation in the region. Stakeholders should collaborate and jointly implement industrialisation,” he adds.

The Trust’s participation in the SADC Industrialisation week aims to ensure that the people in the region are considered in industrial development. The Trust wants to promote the SADC Industrialisation strategy and roadmap, along with the region’s Action Plan on industrialisation. Activities supported by the Trust include:

  • A media workshop on industrialisation in the southern African region that precedes the official program on Monday, 30 July 2017. The aim of the workshop is to share and discuss the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Action Plan thereof with SADC media in detail. The media workshop will also be used to start an exchange with media on how to make technocratic language into clear and easy messages for the public.
  • A working group on pharmaceutical value chain and the launch of the SADC Pharmaceutical Business Plan, a regional policy framework for the sector. Both focus, among others to improve the access to medicine in the region. The Trust has commissioned an expert to provide input to the working group, co-facilitate the launch of the SADC Pharmaceuticals Business Plan and mobilise important stakeholders to be part of the launch.
  • The coordination of a session meeting between civil society organisations and the private sector in order to establish a joint position paper on industrialisation.
  • The coordination of a session on incentives in the agriculture sector, in particular to include small scale farmers in the value chain of larger companies.

The initiative gives delegates an opportunity to provide recommendations that’ll be presented at SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in August 2017.

The SADC Industrialisation Week will be hosted with the support of the Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF), the NEPAD Business Foundation, the Department of Trade and Industry South Africa (dti) and the Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO) and will be sponsored by the Barclays Africa Group and the European Union.


For more information and interviews, contact:

Boitumelo Molusi
Tel: +27 11 888 0140
Cell: +27 79 713 5953

The Drivers of Change Summit: Building a Network of Social Innovators

The Southern Africa Trust, in partnership with the Mail & Guardian, held their inaugural Drivers of Change Summit on March 2, focusing on social inclusion and sustainable development in the social space.

The day-long summit was an opportunity for social innovators to share experiences and network with each other, as well as with those in the business of improving development systems. The mix of personal stories of struggle and success in the sustainable development space with the technical know-how of impact investors and funders made for an energetic exchange of ideas.

Executive director of the Southern Africa Trust, Bheki Moyo, hoped the summit would help to build a network of social innovators who could draw on ideas of what strategies work best for overcoming poverty in the region.

During the summit it was strongly emphasised that solutions to developmental challenges are found in the same communities where the challenges are found, and that social interventions should support local solutions rather than have outside players dictating the process.

This represents a move away from a top-down approach, where funders impose systems and solutions that don’t work in that context. Solutions to developmental challenges need to take into account not just individual challenges, but the circumstances that make them difficult to solve. Often these suggested solutions do not take into account contextual challenges such as lack of infrastructure and resources, which makes modelling solutions on local initiatives critical.

“A lot of projects are still top-down. But there are initiatives among communities that are doing their own things, for example community savings schemes, stokvels, and other community initiatives across Africa,” said Moyo.

Social entrepreneurship

Kerryn Krige, senior programme manager of the Network for Social Entrepreneurs at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, drove the point home, saying: “Stop walking into communities and telling them what they need. Our role is capacitate what they say they need. We have to shift away from wanting to ‘change the world’. You’re not there to change the community. You’re there to enable the next step in the process”.

Social entrepreneurs were encouraged to support local communities by addressing barriers to entry — especially for women — as well as structural barriers to ensure jobs, skills and a growing economy. According to Robert Rhodes, director of the USAIDS regional environment, education and democracy office, South Africa is showing a unique development of social entrepreneurship as a driver of social transformation. Strategies such as workforce development projects, targeted education and job placement have proven to be highly impactful models in the country.

This was encouraging news for social enterprises such as Umbacreate, an incubator that works to empower women by providing them with seed money and system support for their small businesses. Co-founder Kudzai Sakajero started the business not as a business, but as a passion project, and almost went broke. With a grant from the US African Development Foundation (USADF) she registered the business formally two years ago, and now supports 50 companies.

“We don’t want to be donor funded for life. We get a kick off from a grant like we did from USADF. From there, programs must be self-sustaining and generating income. We want to get to a place where we’re venture capitalists,” she said.

Sakajero appreciated the holistic nature of the summit, saying that despite its academic sounding title, she gained a lot of practical advice from delegates and panelists from various NGO, academic, investment and government spheres.

Community first

Deputy minister of social development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu emphasised the importance of recognising family as the first social circle from which sustainable development and social inclusion can take place. Sakajero said this spoke to the social struggles she faced with the dominance of male figures in the lives of the women she works with, and sparked some ideas on how to deal with them.

“I’m dealing with women who get seed funding but are always dealing with gender-based constraints. We give them the money, but the husband probably has a say. So we plan to call all the women’s male support systems for a casual social get together and tell them how the women’s success are their successes and make them feel more part of the program,” Sakajero explained.

The move towards community-focused, qualitative strategy is also starting to emerge in business – albeit very slowly.

Pascal Fröhlicher, impact investor and entrepreneur at Focal Growth says: “While we have made progress with regards to specific developmental goals, we still don’t grasp the complexity of developmental challenges and often come with preconceived notions in terms of what the actual issue is”.

“Also, we haven’t been able to include all the key partners in the efforts to address social issues and specifically align their interest. Business has been slow in playing a part in addressing social issues.”

Fröhlicher highlighted that social enterprises also need to view themselves as businesses in order to be sustainable and to create meaningful social impact. By thinking as businesses, enterprises are forced to provide a product or service that is actually needed. However, he also emphasised the responsibility business has to addressing social and developmental challenges.

“BEE has played its part in bringing social issues more into boardroom agendas. Unfortunately, these challenges are still seen as separate to the business and are not considered in the context of business strategy and indeed continuity. In an interconnected world and especially in a very unequal country, social issues are critical to business strategy.”

Trends for development

Guest speaker at the summit Anne Githuku-Shongwe, South African representative at UN Women, shared her expertise in a session titled Creating Sustainable Pathways for Poverty Alleviation and Equity. She emphasised the role of promoting the equality of women in finding “highways, not pathways to eradicate, not alleviate poverty”.  The visibility of issues affecting women in the region, argued Githuku-Shongwe, must be improved and their interests must be promoted not only in the workplace and in procurement practices, but also in agriculture and the informal sector, where their contribution is immense. She also stressed that care services are essential in assisting women to become more productive, but that this begins with recognising the unpaid labour that women already do in this sphere and breaking with norms that adversely affect women and their roles.

Access to technology, Githuku-Shongwe argues, is a human right and one of the assets that improves mobility for women, and this thread was picked up later in the summit by analyst Dion Chang of Flux Trends, who spoke on The Impact of Being Woke, dissecting social development in a digital age that has seen growing social consciousness and a trend towards pressure for brands to be politically responsible.

Chang warned that in this age, unemployment, only small numbers of highly skilled roles and ‘gig jobs’ for young people are becoming the norm, and that regulation is yet to catch up with the challenges this presents.

Faced with the massive amount of information we encounter on a daily basis, he emphasised critical thinking as an essential skill needed to navigate the modern world.

The Drivers of Change Summit featured a diverse programme, including storytelling sessions by 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow Situmbeko Wambulawae, who presented The Fifth Eye, and DJ and author Criselda Dudumashe, who shared an extract of her personal story, which is featured in her book You Are Never Alone.

The summit’s panel discussions included a session on building community partnerships for sustainable development, featuring Robert Rhodes of USAID Southern Africa, business and life coach Nqobekile Dorah Manyoni and Kudzai Sakajero, co-founder of Umbacreate.

An expert panel on measuring the impact of change-making drew on the knowledge of Dugan Fraser, programme director at the RAITH Foundation, Setlogane Manchidi, head of corporate social investment at Investec, Kerryn Krige, senior programme manager at Gordon Institute of Business Science and impact investor Pascal Froelicher.

Drivers Of Change Social Inclusion And Sustainable Development Summit And Awards Gala Dinner In Partnership With Mail Guardian


In preceding years Mail & Guardian in collaboration with Southern Africa Trust (The Trust) has annually scoured the country to identify noteworthy and news-worthy drivers of change through call for nominations. On 2 March 2017, Mail & Guardian with The Trust celebrates the journey of the entrants for the last 10 years through a Footprint project that will showcase the sustaining impact of the Drivers of change on society. On the evening of the awards, a visual collage of entrants from the past 10 years will be projected on the screens, detailing the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the impact they have continued to make in society.

In addition to this, Mail & Guardian and The Trust will co-host a conference on Social inclusion and sustainable development.

During the full day conference, hundreds of social innovators will engage and influence each other on how to utilize various models of poverty alleviation and inequality to catalyse long-term change and social impact. Here inspiration is sparked and deep connections are formed with peers who share the same passion for sustainable social inclusion, equity and growth.

We believe that, regardless of size or type or geographic location, Social entrepreneurs can unlock the potential to be lifelong change makers. The conference is devoted to advancing key conversations around a range of topics such as: fostering inclusive change maker communities, building community partnerships, creating pathways for poverty alleviation and equity, measuring the impact of change making.


Celebrate the example shown by social change leaders in diverse industries even outside business; Connect drivers of change across different backgrounds to continue building a strong community of leaders;

Challenge the ongoing and new issues that drivers of change face today; Empower social leaders and change makers with real skills needed to become an effective leader in today’s increasingly diverse society.

Southern Africa Business Forum meeting held in Gaborone

The meeting for institutional partners for the Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF) was held in Gaborone Botswana at the SADC Head office on the 23 September 2016. SABF is a private sector-led platform for engaging the SADC Secretariat and SADC Member States in creating an enabling business environment in the region in order to enhance regional industrialisation. The SABF partners who attended the meeting with the SADC Secretariat are the NEPAD Business Foundation, Southern Africa Trust, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit, and European Union.

The institutional partners for the Southern Africa Business Forum met to complete the debriefing of the first-ever Industrialization Week and the second SABF conference which were both held in Swaziland in August 2016, as well as discuss other notable activities. The meeting was co-chaired by the Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo, the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Regional Integration and Ms. Lynette Chen, the Chief Executive Officer NEPAD Business Foundation.

In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Mhlongo, said that this meeting is imminent in developing industries and boosting trade within the SADC region and that SABF is mainly responsible for addressing industrialization and regional economic integration issues in the region. He also mentioned that SABF enhances dialogue between private sector and member state engagement (Public-Private Dialogue -PPD) and to see how the PPD is unfolding and creating an open space for the private sector to be involved in discussion. When given the platform, Ms. Chen explained that the role of SABF was to facilitate interactions and discussions between private sector and policy makers in the targeted Working Group areas of pharmaceuticals, agri-processing, mineral development, infrastructure (transportation, water, energy, ICT) and non-tariff barriers and trade facilitation.

The meeting also reviewed the organisation and logistics for industrialisation week which took place in the margins of the 2016 SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Swaziland in August 2016. During the Industrialisation Week in Swaziland, it was noted that there was good participation and input from private sector on structuring of projects on SADC NEPAD PIDA acceleration. The SABF conference which was also held in Swaziland, was attended by 240 delegates with 160 from private companies and was a success.

Ms. Chen noted that there were a number of SABF activities lined up in the near future such as the workshop of the private sector and senior officials tentatively scheduled for November 2016 to provide input on the Action Plan for the SADC Industrialization Strategy. She also noted that the Ministers of transport and ICT meeting is also scheduled in October 2016 and is intended for the approval of SADC priority infrastructure projects; while in February/March 2017, the Ministerial Task Force Responsible for Regional Economic Integration which meet to finalise the Action Plan on the Industrialization Strategy for submission to Council and the Extra Ordinary Summit.

The meeting also discussed proposals on how to fund the SABF in a sustainable manner. In this context, SABF and the Secretariat will be working with the relevant stakeholders to mobilise support for the 3rd SABF and the second Industrialization Week that will be held in South Africa in 2017. The meeting agreed that it was important to engage all the concerned parties and partners in order to drive the ambitious concept note of the SABF.

Source: SADC

Position Statement – Women Crossborder Traders Forum, October 2016

We, the women representatives of the Southern Africa Cross Border Traders Association (SACBTA) drawn from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe met in Johannesburg, South Africa for the 3rd Women Cross Border Traders(WCBTs) Forum from the 5th-6th October 2016.

The forum provided another opportunity for WCBTs to engage Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) on specific policy issues where there has been slow and in some cases no progress to address the challenges being faced by WCBTs. The policy areas include: the SADC protocol on Trade, COMESA Simplified Trade Regime (STR) and the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA).

We take cognisance of the efforts by COMESA and SADC to develop gender based policy frame works namely: the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development of 2008 and the COMESA Gender Policy. However, domestication and implementation of these instruments has largely been ineffective.

TFN International Meets with Ange Chitate

Angeline Chitate is Business and Development Manager at the Southern Africa Trust. The Trust supports civil society organisations in southern Africa to participate effectively in policy dialogue, ensuring that the voices of the poor and marginalised have an impact on policy development. We were delighted to have Ange attend our event at Rathbone Greenbank in London last night.

 “I first met the Trust during the research on my thesis on inclusive business. I wanted to go beyond academia and experience the practical side of implementing inclusive business models.  To my knowledge the Trust was the only non-profit that was implementing an inclusive business programme,” said Ange about working with the Trust.

On civil society in Southern Africa, Ange believes it “must shape policies to overcome poverty.  Its engagement in the policymaking process must not only influence policies, but must hold governments accountable in the implementation of the policies.” Speaking about the challenges she faces in her mission to strengthen civil society and give a voice to marginalised people in Southern Africa, Ange said one of her key challenges is that of capacity:“civil society organisations face challenges of adequate resources; funding, technical, skills and as a result are limited in building capabilities to effectively participate in the policy making processes, whether at national or regional levels.”

When asked how she thinks live crowdfunding events can help the Trust address some of those issues, Ange said “the crowdfunding event directly speaks to the Trust’s objective of increasing funding flows to civil society organisations through philanthropic community giving platforms.” Ange experienced her first live crowdfunding event at TFN London on 15th July: “I was wowed by the reach of the TFN network. A Zimbabwean company, Econet, is now a partner of one of the projects that pitched at a previous TFN event. Another surprise was a South Africa based project, SEED Impact Trust, which pitched. Well done to TFN to for demonstrating a global approach in dealing with poverty.”

ZCTA Strike Deal with Government Over Import Permits

The Southern Africa Trust supports platforms of regional and national cross border traders through Southern Africa Cross Border Trader Association (SACBTA). These were established to champion and advocate issues affecting cross border traders as well as facilitate policy dialogue between traders and their governments.

Such dialogues are earmarked at easing the process of buying and importing goods for trade. For example, the Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association (ZCTA) recently reached an agreement with government to facilitate bulk permit licences which will lift a ban on the importation of certain products for its members. ZCTA is a member of SACBTA and is also a beneficiary of support from the Southern Africa Trust.

Trade is an economic activity which contributes to regional integration, economic growth and poverty eradication. High unemployment and low literacy levels have forced many of SADC citizens to engage in cross border trade as a means of livelihood. According to UN women, cross border trade contributes 30-40% of intra-SADC trade.