In East Africa, the Austrian Development Cooperation supports various programmes on water supply and sanitation, renewable energy and climate change. Know-how in the water supply and sanitation sector is one of the hallmarks of Austria’s engagement. The Austrian Development Cooperation has for long been supporting regional programmes, such as the “African Water Facility” of the African Development Bank and the “Water, Climate and Development Programme in Africa” run under the Global Water Partnership. Moreover, Austria chaired several times the donor group in the water sector in Uganda.
Similarly, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) supports the East African Community in establishing the Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and promotes regional initiatives striving to make the rural population more resilient to negative effects of climate change. In its efforts, ADA pays particular attention to a comprehensive and integrated gender approach.
RIGHT TO PEACE
Other priorities of the cooperation in the eastern Sub-Saharan region include programmes and projects in peacebuilding, reconciliation and democratisation. Austrian Development Cooperation supports the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional trade bloc, in implementing its Peace and Security Strategy 2016-2020, thus strengthening the continental African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). IGAD features essential instruments of the African Union and regional trade blocs for preventing and managing conflicts and consolidating peace. Projects promoted by ADA within this scope intend to enhance exchange at local, regional and national level and to timely detect and prevent imminent conflicts. Additionally, they assist in ongoing peace processes, for example, in Somalia and South Sudan. To implement Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, the spotlight is turned on the interface between good governance, gender, human rights, peacebuilding and conflict prevention. In Uganda, ADA also supports the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund which aims at empowering civil society organizations (CSOs) to support women’s participation and leadership in local peacebuilding initiatives and conflict resolution.
All projects have a cross-sectoral focus on promoting gender equality and aim to include women more in peace processes.
Development cooperation in this region pays special attention to driving decentralisation and regionalisation. Supporting expert and administrative capacities down to district or municipal level enables countries like Ethiopia to independently provide basic services, such as health care or school education, in urban and rural areas alike. At the same time, Austrian Development Cooperation endorses the local population to use resources and their habitat in a sustainable way, create new opportunities to generate income and participate more in political decision-making processes.