Devolution and International Development

Devolution divides responsibility for the interests of Wales between the UK Government in Westminster, and the Welsh Government based in Cardiff Bay.

The Welsh Government has responsibility for most day-to-day issues affecting the people of Wales, i.e. the economy, health, education, agriculture and local government. The UK Government remains responsible for defence, taxation, pensions and benefits, and foreign policy. More detail on the 20 devolved areas is available here >>>

Whilst the main responsibility for International Development within the UK lies with the UK Government and the Department for International Development (DFiD), Wales makes a vibrant and unique contribution to international development and humanitarian emergencies.

Welsh efforts are focussed on the delivery of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and are facilitated through the Welsh Government's Wales for Africa programme. The Wales for Africa programme was launched in 2006, and currently supports initiatives including,

  • and the Wales International Development Hub
These initiatives have galvanised civil society action in Wales and support individuals, communities and organisations to act on the MDGs and on international development issues. Currently, over 700 organisations and groups with more than 5,000 volunteers across Wales, are mobilised around the Millennium Development Goals and are working on tackling global poverty. 

Wales' contribution is unique in that Wales for Africa support stipulates that the action we take on the MDGs also has a positive benefit here in Wales. This ensures that our actions are based on equal partnership between communities here and in Sub-Saharan Africa, and are ultimately more sustainable as a result. 

The Wales for Africa programme seeks to;

  • encourage public sector placements and twinning which contributes to MDG delivery;
  • build the capacity of small Welsh International Development Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and aid the co-ordination of the sector as a whole in order to strengthen Wales' impact;
  • promote and encourage international volunteering to the Welsh public and public sector staff;
  • work with partners to facilitate the work of Diaspora communities in Wales in maximising their impact on MDG delivery in their home country;
  • promote best practice in Fair Trade and ethical procurement across the public and private sector in Wales - making Wales a beacon of fair trade and ethical procurement in Europe. 
If you would like to know more about Wales for Africa or have any queries about the programme, you can email the team at

Page last updated: November 2013