The Nordic Africa Institute

Sida Collaboration with Liberation Movements in Southern Africa


Extracts from archival inventories of SIDA’s Development Cooperation Offices (DCO) of Swedish embassies in the “Frontline States” of Southern Africa

Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) is the Swedish Government aid agency since 1 July 1995. Its predecessor SIDA (Swedish International Development Authority) existed between 1 July, 1965 and 30 June 1995.

SIDA had special field offices – DCOs (Development Cooperation Offices) – attached to and gradually integrated with the Swedish embassies in those developing countries with which Sweden had extensive and long term development cooperation. When SIDA was established on 1 July 1965 there were 16 such offices in Africa and Asia.

Some DCOs were fully integrated with the embassies from start. Other DCOs were formally integrated in the embassies when SIDA became Sida on 1 July 1995. At that date the DCOs ceased to exist.

For practical reasons the integration of the DCO archives with the embassy archives was carried out at different dates during the period 1994-1999.

SIDA was responsible for the DCO archives from 1 July 1965 and up to the date of final integration with the embassy archives. As from the date of final integration the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for all embassy archives, including those files related to Swedish development cooperation.

SIDA in Stockholm and the DCOs used a registry of letters combined with a filing index. The registration number together with the date and the file index number made each letter unique.
A copy of the registry split up per letter was used as a subject index up to 1986.

The DCO archives for the period 1965-1995 (1999) were delivered from the embassies to SIDA/Sida on different points of time. Beginning in October 2002 the DCO archives were put in order, screened and inventories were made. The final destination of the DCO archives is the National Archives were they will be kept for eternal preservation. As from April 2009 all DCO archives will have been delivered to the National Archives.

Some 70-80% of the documents on SIDA’s cooperation with the liberation movements in Southern Africa are in the Swedish language; the rest mainly in English and a few documents in Portuguese. It may therefore be advisable for non-Swedish speaking researchers to establish contact and cooperation with Swedish researchers or relevant Swedish institutions in order to facilitate translation.

Archival inventory (in Swedish) of the complete DCO archives can be found at of the National Archives in Stockholm.


[Series] Zambia

[Series] Tanzania

Country: Sweden
Period: 1965-1995