ABS compliant Biotrade in South(ern) Africa (ABioSA)

General Information

Project phase

The current project phase of ABioSA has ended. A new phase is currently in preparation.


The ABioSA project works with 13 biotrade value chains and plant species in southern Africa. The value chains and species were selected based on criteria including traditional knowledge, ecological sustainability, market demand, potential for value-adding and job creation, and opportunities for participation of small and medium enterprises (SME) and indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs).


Baobab (Adansonia digitata)

Marula (Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra)

Aloe (Aloe ferox)

Buchu (Agathosma spp.)

Honeybush (Cyclopia)

Imphepho (Helichrysum spp.)

Umsuzwane (Lippia javanica)

Cape chamomile (Eriocephalus spp.)

Rose geranium (Pelargonium var Rose)

Kalahari melon (Citrullus lanatus)

Mafura (Trichilia emetica)

Sour plum (Ximenia americana & X. caffra

Wild ginger/African ginger (Siphonochilus aethiopicus)


The ABioSA project aims to create an innovative high-growth, job-rich biotrade sector that complies with international and domestic ABS regulations. It supports sustainable development goals and contributes to the livelihoods of people living in rural areas and the productive use of South(ern) Africa’s plant biodiversity. It aims to create permanent and seasonal jobs in biotrade value chains, while boosting the value generated by biotrade products from Southern Africa.

Geographical scope

Southern Africa – currently including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Eswatini.

Target groups

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), business support organisations and indigenous people and local communities (IPLCs), government and business support/meso-level organisations.


ABioSA is collaborating with South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and other regional governments. The ABioSA team is part of the Centre for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS), based in the GIZ country office in South Africa, which hosts the four regional/global programmes that support sustainable development for employment, economic growth and natural resources. 


The ABioSA project is integrated in the governance structure of the ABS Initiative, with its own project steering committee consisting of SECO, GIZ and DFFE. The steering committee meets twice a year to review project progress. An investment committee advises on financial assistance to SMEs for innovation and growth.