The Economic Sector deals with management of development cooperation in support of sustainable economic growth and job creation. The key priority for the sector is therefore to ensure that development cooperation contributes towards the following government outcomes: 

​Outcome 4:

​Decent employment through inclusive economic growth
Outcome 5:​A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path
Outcome 6:​An efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network
Outcome 7:​Vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities with food security for all
Outcome 9:​A responsive accountable effective and efficient local government system

The priorities within this sector are based on the National Development Plan Vision 2030 and twelve MTSF outcomes that will tackle the challenges facing the country in regard to economic growth and job creation. The assumption is that an efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network and vibrant, equitable & sustainable rural communities with food security, and decent employment will be a result of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

To advance the work within this sector, engagements take place with relevant key departments including, Trade & Industry, Economic Development, Public Enterprises, Rural Development, Agriculture and Tourism. Key Public Entities within this sector include the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Cooperation.

Taking into account priorities of South African government, together with the specialized interests of the development partners, support for development cooperation within this sector is concentrated within the following key sub sectors:

​​Creating more jobs through faster inclusive and sustainable economic growth:​​Rural development including agriculture and agro-processing that is integrated and supports mainstream economic activities:

​• Skills Development

• Infrastructure development

• Enterprise development for job creation and innovation

​​​• Land Reform

• Agriculture and Food Security

• Transformation of rural economies and livelihoods

Since 1994, there has been various economic development programmes supported through development cooperation. These include programmes such as Local Economic Development programmes across provinces, SMMES programmes (Risk Capital Facility, and Sector Wide Enterprise Employment and Equity), rural development and land reform, and the Employment Creation Fund.