Southern Africa Trust


The Southern Africa Trust is an independent, non-profit organisation that was established in 2005 to support civil society organisations in the region to participate effectively and with credibility in policy dialogue so that the voices of the poor can have better impact in the development and implementations of policies. Over time, the Trust has grown and managed to craft a unique position for itself, and has contributed to many regional policy instruments as well as touched the lives of ordinary people on the ground, by for example working with ex-miners and social security funds to disburse the much needed benefits to beneficiaries. The Trust has also engaged equally with political leaders, academics, young people, women, thought leaders and citizens on the ground in order to build a social contract on ending poverty, which remains a critical threat to the people of SADC. The Trust has also engaged has endeavoured to address this in various ways, primarily by capacitating people of the region with agency - resources through grant making, sharing knowledge products, skills development through its leadership for change and youth exchange initiatives as well as strengthening voices and creating opportunities for active engagement in the governance and development of the region.


To support processes to deepen and widen engagement in policy dialogue with a regional impact on poverty so that the poor have a better say in shaping policies to overcome poverty in Southern Africa.
The Southern Africa Trust’s vision is therefore that policies and strategies across the region work to end poverty.

Geographic Focus

South Africa Region

Programme Areas

The Southern Africa Trust has five programme areas and five strategies that contribute towards supporting deeper and wider civil society engagement in regional policy dialogue to overcome poverty in southern Africa. The programmes of the Trust are;
- Learning For Better Poverty Reduction Results: aims at creating and expanding knowledge and learning to assist in the achievement of better poverty reduction results. It also aims to strengthen participation of civil society in regional policy dialogue by improving their knowledge base through evidence-based research information.
- Knowing Civil Society Organisations and Building Capability to Do Pro-Poor Policy Work: aims to strengthen civil society capability to influence policy development and to generate knowledge on trends, shifts and nature of civil society in southern Africa. It also aims at strengthening the credibility and capability of civil society organisations to engage effectively in regional policy processes addressing regional integration from a pro-poor perspective.
- Creating new opportunities for the voices of the poor to be heard in policy development: aims at strengthening institutional governance for multi-stakeholder participation in regional policy development and implementation in order to insert the voices of the poor.
- Forging a Regional Identity through the Promotion of Civic Participation in Regional Integration: This programme area lays the foundation and creates conditions for making regional integration institutions more responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people of the region.
- More and Better Financial Flows to Civil Society Organisations: the Trust will influence trends in public giving by raising awareness of the root causes of poverty in southern Africa, and by encouraging philanthropic-minded individuals to support initiatives and organisations that seek to address these root causes.

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