Lower Saxony is primarily involved in development cooperation on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa by supporting projects in the Eastern Cape (South Africa) and Tanzania. In addition to development cooperation with partners abroad, the state supports development education and information work at home and promotes the Association for Development Policy of Lower Saxony (Verband Entwicklungspolitik Niedersachsen e.V.). (VEN) in corresponding projects.
In order to better systematize development cooperation in Lower Saxony and implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), development policy guidelines were drawn up in 2015. All activities make an important contribution to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the United Nations' 2030 Agenda. The state's development policy guidelines thus form the basis for all development policy activities in Lower Saxony.
Since 1995, Lower Saxony has been working successfully with the Eastern Cape in the areas of qualified school/vocational education, university cooperation, expansion of renewable energies, youth encounters, culture and sports, as well as in the field of health. Both partners support the exchange particularly intensively through voluntary services (e.g. "Weltwärts") in sports and social projects. The partnership is characterized by a lively culture of mutual visits, especially at the political level.
Since 2010, Lower Saxony has been providing targeted support for projects in Tanzania that build on existing structures and develop them further. The focus is on school and vocational education (including inclusion, development of a vocational training center), research (promotion of young scientists and research, training of specialists in special education, school projects), the development of renewable energies and water supply, and improving the living conditions of people in rural regions.
As an active contribution to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the state of Lower Saxony adopted development policy guidelines at the end of a broad-based dialog process in August 2015. In order to further strengthen civil society engagement, the Lower Saxony State Chancellery set up a "round table" with various social groups, non-governmental organizations active in development policy, municipal umbrella organizations, churches and business associations. Over a period of 2 years, a strategy with concrete recommendations for action to implement the development policy guidelines was jointly developed here. This was approved by the cabinet in September 2017.
A progress report is currently being prepared for the guidelines. This update will also include a perspective for further development, in which development policy stakeholders and civil society can once again contribute their ideas and experience.