In March 1995, USAID established the Regional Center for Southern Africa in Gaborone, Botswana, to develop, implement, and manage the Initiative for Southern Africa. This initiative spearheaded regional programs that would open markets, attract investment, increase participation of disadvantaged groups in all segments of the regional economy, strengthen democracies, expand the production of food and fiber, and develop and utilize the region’s impressive natural resource base in an environmentally sensitive manner.

In 2008, the regional program relocated to Pretoria, South Africa, where it became USAID’s Southern Africa mission. This mission works on issues that are better addressed and supported through a regional approach.

Through a regional mission, USAID is able to:

  • Support regional entities like the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  • Address cross-boundary issues such as trade and customs regulations or water management of rivers that cross borders
  • Provide a regional support platform for technical assistance and support services to bilateral missions

Last updated: December 02, 2014

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