Australia-Africa Partnerships Facility (AAPF)

Ergon Energy workers looking at documents

Cardno led the AAPF with our blend of international facility management expertise, deep understanding of the development challenges in Africa, and consistent investment in Australian-African relationships built on our genuine interest in people.

The Australia-Africa Partnerships Facility (AAPF) was part of the Australian Government’s commitment to expand its development cooperation program and provide deeper engagement across African countries and institutions. 

As managing contractor for the AAPF, Cardno led the development of effective working relationships between Australia and African countries, with a focus on helping those countries sustainably achieve their targeted development goals. Our work supported development in 51 African countries and saw us engage directly with 7,953 participants in AAPF activities.  

Our team was responsible for the Facility’s operation, management and maintenance, including the ancillary services and activities. The aid-focused activities included placement of short-term specialists and volunteers to work alongside and mentor African government officials, partnerships between Australian and African organisations, short-term professional development programs, workshops and training, grant funding for activities implemented by NGOs, and joint research.  

Our support was delivered in a variety of formats, including:  

  • building environmental impact assessment capacity for government officials in countries such as Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Tanzania to better assess the impact of mining 
  • building the capacity of the Ethiopian regulatory bodies involved in mining governance to achieve Ethiopia’s long-standing objective of becoming a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) 
  • promoting female participation in the mining sector across Africa through the inclusion of women within targeted study tours and other mining governance initiatives, resulting in mentoring initiatives and plans to continue to promote and enhance study and employment for women in the sector 
  • promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in Africa’s resource extraction industry, and in public policy, agriculture and food security, resulting in an average 30 per cent participation rate by women in the Facility’s activities  
  • training more than 4,000 Botswana fire fighters through the New South Wales Rural Fire Service to manage bushfires in Chobe and Ghanzi Districts, to protect grazing areas for cattle farmers 
  • providing best-practice water harvesting techniques through the West Africa Water Management activity, leading to 40–70 per cent higher yields than when compared to the normal cropping activities 
  • providing livelihood opportunities for communities and local business, through activities such as the Liberian ‘Building Markets’ initiative, which supported 164 unique businesses to win 267 contracts worth $25 million for a project total of $33 million

While they were not part of the AAPF’s design, the Facility also supported 20 highly successful mining governance study tours to Australia and elsewhere involving more than 600 African officials from 35 national governments and regional organisation.