South Africa vs France – Development Scorecard

Posted on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 13:28

France and South Africa both need to win big in their final group game to have any chance of getting through to the second round but how do the two nations shape up off the pitch. Read a development scorecard prepared by the Africa Progress Panel

for their ‘Scoring for Africa’ report.

Attempts on target

Investment: Around 200 French companies have set up businesses in South Africa employing a total workforce of over 30,000. France is strongly involved in the South African energy sector, including through its investment in the Koeberg nuclear power plant, the only nuclear power station in Africa. Further French investments in South Africa include a Nissan-Renault car plant in Rosslyn. (Source: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Entrepreneurship: While France is still one of the largest wine producers in the world, South Africa is catching up fast. in 2010, South African wines outsold their French competitors in several markets, including the UK. Since 1994, wine exports from South Africa have increased from 50 million litres to nearly 400 million litres, making the country the world’s 9th largest wine producer

Development Assistance: France is one of the biggest providers of development assistance to South Africa, giving €250 million in 2008 alone. Most of the assistance focuses on improving access to basic services, supporting growth and creating jobs.

Security: The French maritime gendarmerie supports the development of the sea borderline control of the South African police through regular workshops in South Africa, officer training courses in France and technical capacity building.

Health: South Africa is in the midst of an immense increase in testing, treating and preventing HIV/Aids – an effort that the UN has stated as the largest and fastest expansion of Aids services ever attempted by any nation. in March 2010 the government had already enabled 519 hospitals and clinics to dispense Aids medicines, and trained hundreds of nurses prescribing drugs. the efforts also include a campaign to test 15 million of the country’s 49 million people for HIV by June 2011. (Source: The New York Times 2010)

Attempts off target

Development Assistance: France is off track to meet its 2010 Gleneagles commitments. So far, France has only achieved 7% of its promised increase in ODA to Sub-Saharan Africa from the baseline of $3.19 billion in 2004 to $8.27 billion in 2010 (in 2009 prices). (Source: ONE Data Report 2009)

Trade: The EU has offered South Africa preferential economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). South Africa is opposing the EPAs in their current form because of concerns that they undermine regional integration in the SADC region (Source: ONE Data Report 2009).

Unfulfilled Promises: In a speech before the South African parliament in 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced far-reaching changes to France’s Africa policy. Amongst other things, he promised to mobilize €2.5 billion in new investments in sub-Saharan Africa over the following five years, renegotiate all bilateral defense agreements, and make French Africa policy more transparent. As of now, many of the President’s promises remain unfulfilled. (Source: The New York Times 2008)

Doha Development Round: The world’s major economies, including France, have continuously committed themselves to completing the doha development rounds (which started in 2001), but have thus far failed to do so. the goal of the doha rounds is to lower trade barriers around the world, allowing for an increase in global trade – including with the developing world.


Agricultural Subsidies: The EU is the world’s largest subsidiser of the agricultural sector, spending more than 40% of its 2010 budget (€60 billion) on agricultural subsidies through its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). France is one of the main beneficiaries of the CAP, and historically has not been in favour of reforming it, even though these subsidies hurt African farmers, particularly in food exporting countries like South Africa. (Source: EU budget 2010)

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