Skip to content

Development cooperation and growth go hand in hand: Africa, Asia and Latin America

Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
Photo: Danida

In just a few decades, growth in Asia has lifted several hundred million people out of poverty and into the prosperous middle class, which demands democratic rights. One example of the significant results achieved through the many years of Danish development cooperation is Denmark’s relationship with Vietnam, which is in a transitional phase from development assistance towards a strengthened commercial and political partnership. Great inequalities still exist, however, both between and within countries, which means that the largest number of the world’s poor still live in Asia. Therefore, Danish development cooperation in Asia continues to be focused on the poorest and most fragile countries in the region and aims to ensure that the poor population groups are included in Asia’s growth.

While development cooperation with Cambodia was phased out in 2012, Denmark strengthened its efforts aimed at supporting democracy and the reform process in Burma/Myanmar through a significant increase in the country frame in order to strengthen the positive development in the country. The Minister for Development Cooperation was, as the first ever Danish minister, on an official visit in the country in January 2012, and in November the Prime Minister opened a Danish mission office in the country.

The economic growth continued in Africa as well, though from a lower starting point. Thus, at the global level, the continent is increasingly considered a significant and attractive market, also to Danish companies. Denmark’s many years of development efforts in Africa have made – and are still making – a difference with respect to expanding democracy, good governance and better conditions for private enterprises.
The Danish focus will continue to be on combating poverty and strengthening rights, but as part of a forward-looking Danish commitment to growth in Africa, the strong Danish brand on the continent will also be used to create new, innovative partnerships with an increased focus on commercial partnerships and African economic integration. It is actually a win-win situation in which Denmark, together with our African partners, is pushing for additional growth and employment in both Africa and Denmark and in which Danish enterprises can use Denmark’s many years of cooperation in the individual countries as a platform for increased investments and trade.

Moreover, the Government decided to focus a renewed development cooperation engagement in Latin America around the rights agenda. As a part of this engagement, a new human rights programme was launched in Central America in 2012, and the development of the framework for renewed efforts in Bolivia for the years 2013 to 2018 was undertaken. These efforts are to contribute to democratic and inclusive sustainable development that reduces poverty and promotes human rights. Development cooperation with Nicaragua was phased out in 2012.