KfW support started in 2008, when €430,000 was made available for the initial project preparation. During this time the institutional framework for the implementation of KAZA was developed, which resulted in the establishment of the KAZA Secretariat to coordinate joint activities between the partner countries.
The following year, KfW provided €8 million earmarked to support the operational cost of the KAZA Secretariat and also to support partner countries in improving infrastructure within the various protected areas. Each of the countries also developed an integrated development plan which was used as the basis to guide further investments.
In August 2011, the Heads of State gathered in Luanda, Angola, to formalise their partnership through the signing of a KAZA treaty, thereby confirming their ownership and commitment to joining hands across borders to develop this transfrontier conservation area to the benefit of the region’s people.
In 2013, KfW provided a further €12 million, which was again divided between the countries and used for further development activities, as well as the creation of a Master Integrated Development Plan. This plan determined that the most important activity for KAZA was to ensure that the various protected areas stay connected through the development of wildlife dispersal areas (WDA). These areas offer critical ecological and, in particular, wildlife movement linkages between protected areas across the landscape. The plan further stipulated that, as the WDAs impact on communal land, any projects that further the development of these areas should be implemented with great consideration to the needs of the communities living there. Six WDAs were identified and three of these were prioritised – the Zambezi-Chobe Floodplain WDA, the Hwange-Kazuma–Chobe WDA, and the Kwando WDA.
In 2016, a meeting of traditional leaders was held, which provided a platform for engagement and collaboration, in advance of the State of KAZA Symposium which celebrated KAZA’s 10 years of existence. It also showcased its achievements and demonstrated progress made towards attainment of its objectives and its impact thus far. At the meeting, all efforts within KAZA were evaluated to highlight what was working well and why, and possibilities of replicating these successes, as well as what was not and why not. Recommendations made by attendees were harnessed for future direction.