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Development assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Engaging with civil society in Sub-Saharan Africa


The Australian aid program values partnerships with civil society organisations including non-government organisations (NGOs). Civil society organisations can be powerful agents for change–as partners in delivering better services for the poorest members of society, and as enablers of social inclusion. They can also advocate for more effective, accountable and transparent governments. Civil society organisations promote community level engagement, build the capacity of civil society more broadly and strengthen people to people links. Australian NGOs have longstanding connections, expertise and experience in Africa. They are working with communities across the African continent. According to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), approximately 30 per cent ($80,543,664) of all public donations made by Australians in 2017-18 for development projects overseas went to projects in Africa.

Australia's development assistance delivers the following programs through civil society partners:

  • Australian NGO Cooperation Program
  • Direct Aid Program.

Related initiatives

Australian NGO Cooperation Program in Africa

$25 million, 2018-19 Budget Estimate

$26 million, 2019-20 Budget Estimate

Australia supports accredited Australian NGOs to deliver cost effective, practical and direct poverty reduction programs through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). The ANCP will directly support community-level economic development, facilitating access to markets, improving livelihoods for women and working to strengthen links between communities, government and the private sector.

In 2019-20, an estimated $26 million will be provided for community development projects across 22 African countries.

Related links

Australian NGO Cooperation Program

ANCP Projects

Direct Aid Program in Africa

$6.8 million 2018-19 Budget Estimate

$2.3 million 2019-20 Budget Estimate

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible small grants program managed by Australian diplomatic missions across Africa (and other regions). The aim is to advance developmental objectives and address humanitarian hardship in developing countries, while at the same time supporting Australia's wider foreign and trade policy interests and public diplomacy objectives. DAP funding is available on a not-for-profit basis to individuals, community groups, NGOs and other entities engaged in development activities.

The 2019-20 DAP allocation to African countries is estimated at $2.3 million. This is expected to fund around 200 projects across Africa.

Related link

Direct Aid Program


* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

Last Updated: 13 November 2019
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