Sweden is one of the largest donors in the world. UN recommends that all developed countries should grant 0.7% of their GDP in aid to the least developed countries.
Sweden supports more than 100 countries around the world on regular basis. It is the Swedish Minstry of Foreign Affairs that develops the strategies and policies for the Swedish aid sector. The operational part of the aid sector is handled by a specific agency, the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
SIDA is one of the leading development agenices in the world. The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and SIDA have been two of the largest donors to the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization the last ten years.
One of major points int eh work with the new strategy has been to instruct SIDA to work with multiple partners on both political and technical issues.
Swedish aid is primarily concentrated on capacity building. However in the previous strategy a larger focus was directed towards support for regional organizations, particularly the African Union, AU, and a number of regional economic communities (RECs). The new strategy will be more flexible inbthis respect.
“We need to have a little more flexibility, so that we take the opportunity when we see an opening” says the spokesperson from MinFor in a comment. Swedens’ regional aid for Africa is approx. 4.2 billion for 2016.
In addition to the regional aid Sweden also has bilateral development cooperation with 15 individual African countries. The purpose of the new strategy is to further develop the cooperation and increase the support to African countries.