The partnerships component emphasizes the importance of strategic links with organisations who share a common vision, government departments, ecumenical structures and programmes, the inter-faith community, donors, civil society organisations, national and international structures within the Anglican Communion.
Background and History
When South Africa elected its first democratic government in 1994, one of the challenges for the country and its future was to embark on programmes that led to economic development that would rapidly develop the living conditions and economic situations of the majority of previously disadvantaged communities. Relationships and partnerships between Finland and South Africa have over the years taken many forms and involved many stakeholders. Civil society relationships were driven mainly by the churches in each country through FinChurchAid, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland, and the South African Council of Churches.
The Finland South Africa Association was formed in Finland by individuals who had a keen interest in general development in South Africa and was well known for its position taken against apartheid. The Finland South Africa Association held dialogues with many civil society organisations, government departments and Faith Based Organisations about a potential partnership between Finland and South Africa that would seek to enhance local initiatives in economic development through the training and mentoring of micro enterprises.
The Finnish Foreign ministry approved a funding application submitted by the FSAA in 2005, with a possibility of continuation until 2008. The project objectives include the following:
- To facilitate an economic development project focusing on training individuals in small business administration skills;
- To identify innovations and new models in economic development;
- To identify the key support services that micro enterprises may need to survive and become sustainable; and
- To embark on partnership discussions to enhance the project.