ASPIRE was founded as the Amathole Economic Development Agency (AEDA), a proprietary limited company, on 1 September 2005. It was envisaged ASPIRE would support the parent municipality’s goal of local economic growth and assist the Amathole District Municipality with the implementation of local economic development initiatives.

Over the years, ASPIRE’s experience and understanding of the Amathole region and its challenges grew. Its mandate is: “the promotion and implementation of development policies in areas of economic production and investment in the Amathole Region”. A 20-year economic development strategy, “Khul’ Amathole 2025” The vision of the Amathole District Municipality is to become a leading, dynamic, innovative, pioneering and focused district municipality dedicated to servicing the needs of its communities and their social and economic development. Its mission includes contributing to the betterment of its communities’ lives through a participatory development process to ensure that they have access to socio-economic opportunities.

 

The role of ASPIRE is to therefore assist the Amathole District Municipality in attaining its vision and to support a mission that specifically spells out the participatory nature of the development process. The key is the building of networks with counterparts by investing upfront in relationship building – and this takes time. ASPIRE believes that any subsequent success emanates from this investment and from the consistent involvement of local municipalities and communities in the development process.