The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has identified Salt Rock Hotel as the venue for its biannual, strategic Africa conference, to be held from 27-29 March. Some 45 aid officials from Sweden and Sida’s missions in Africa will participate. Anders Mollander, Sweden’s Ambassador to South Africa, will also be in attendance.
The conference will focus on conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa. To this end, Sida has invited the Durban-based African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Conflicts (ACCORD) to host the first two days of discussions. In addition to a general overview of challenges and possibilities for sustainable development in Africa, ACCORD and Sida will inter alia address issues relating to the situation in Somalia and in Burundi, as well as share lessons learnt from KwaZulu-Natal. Visits to Mahatma Gandhi’s settlement in Phoenix, John Dube’s farm and the Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial in Groutville are also included on the programme.
Through Sida, the government of Sweden was the major financial supporter of the anti-apartheid struggle. In 2004, Sweden allocated some 21 billion Rands to international development cooperation and will this year reach the target of 1% of GDP for this purpose. In Africa, Sida implements development projects in over 40 countries. Tanzania and Mozambique are the two main recipients.
Sida is one of ACCORD’s larger donors which contributes substantially to ACCORD’s activities on the continent of Africa. In 1996, as part of ACCORD’s International Youth Programme for Peace, Development and Reconciliation, a training was conducted in Durban, South Africa, that brought together youth from Burundi, Sweden and KwaZulu Natal to train them in life and business skills.