Southern Africa Trust

influencing policies to end poverty

  • The Southern Africa Trust believes that an end to poverty is possible in southern Africa if there is improved institutional capacity, participatory and accountable systems of governance, appropriate public policies across the region to overcome chronic livelihoods insecurity in the context of an HIV/AIDS pandemic, and better international financial and trading systems.
  • Vision: The Southern Africa Trust’s vision is therefore that policies and strategies across the region work to end poverty. .
  • Purpose: … (full text Vision and Mission).

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Address: Southern Africa Trust, Midridge Office Estate North, Building 4, International Business Gateway Park, New Road, (by post: Postnet Suite 100, Private Bag X121, Halfway House), Midrand, South Africa;

About /Background: What is the Southern Africa Trust?

The Southern Africa Trust supports processes to deepen and widen participation in policy dialogue with a regional impact on poverty. It:

  • is an independent, regional, non-profit agency registered in South Africa
  • supports organisations and processes with regional impact
  • supports deeper and wider engagement in policy dialogue
  • supports public policy development to overcome poverty
  • supports voices of the poor to be heard in policy dialogue

Why was the Southern Africa Trust established?

In southern Africa, there is a high level of official commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and overcoming poverty, both by governments and by continental and regional organisations such as the African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Linked to achieving the MDGs, most governments are engaged in the development and implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). Policies to promote growth, democratic governance, and social and economic justice are part of these strategies. To be effective, however, many of this process requires more integrated regional approaches and stronger engagement by civil society and the private sector, at both national and regional levels.

With this challenge come opportunities for new partnerships and alliances, and new forms of advocacy for better public policy. There are also risks

Effective policies that have strong popular support are a political outcome of negotiation and bargaining amongst many different interests and constituencies in society. These processes are crucial to building democratic participation and to creating accountable, responsive governance. However, if the voices of the poor are not asserted in these processes, other interests are likely to dominate in both the design and implementation of policies.

The Southern Africa Trust was therefore established in 2005 to support civil society organisations in southern Africa to participate effectively and with credibility in policy dialogue so that the voices of the poor can have a better impact in the development of public policies.

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