Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation

Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development
Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo
Industry Public organization
Founded 11 November 1988
Headquarters Madrid, Spain
Area served
Owner Government of Spain

The Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development (Spanish: Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo) abbreviated as AECID, is a Spanish State Agency, created in November 1988 as a management body for Spain’s international development cooperation policy. Its original name was Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI), but Royal Decree 1403/2007, of 26 October, amended its Statute and gave AECID its current name. AECID is a public law body under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, via the State Secretariat for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America (SECIPI). The Agency is in charge of designing, implementing and managing development cooperation projects and programmes, whether directly, with its own resources, or through collaboration with other national and international bodies and non-governmental organizations.


The AECID headquarters in Madrid.

AECID's responsibilities are set forth in its Statute. In the framework of its current Management Contract, the Agency is in charge of designing and implementing development cooperation projects and programmes, as well as humanitarian action abroad, either as the only actor or jointly with other Cooperation Agencies. Another responsibility is to coordinate development policies with Spain’s other General State Administration bodies, and with other bilateral and multilateral agencies and organizations, especially within the European Union and the United Nations system. AECID also represents Spain on issues that fall under its mandate, promotes cooperation actions of other institutions, and is in charge of producing and disseminating relevant development studies, as well as exercising the duties and responsibilities assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as regards promoting and implementing cultural and scientific relations with other countries.


The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) was created by Royal Decree 1527/1988, of 11 November, through the integration of several self-governing agencies and other organizational units of the Foreign Ministry. It was last restructured in 2001, with the incorporation of the Directorate-General for Cultural and Scientific Relations. The Agency's origins date back to 1946, with the foundation of the Institute of Hispanic Culture. The first significant change to its structure was made in 1976, when a Presidency was established as its highest governing body. In 1977, it was restructured for the first time and given a new name: the Ibero-American Centre for Cooperation, together with new responsibilities and powers in the field of cooperation. From then on, the term "cooperation" became the organization’s hallmark, in its name and in all of its activities. The Hispanic Library dates back to the initial period of the 1940s and 1950s, as do the organization's publications under the name Ediciones de Cultura Hispánica. Both have fostered a major effort in disseminating Spanish culture, to which their holdings and catalogues bear witness. Before AECI was born, this fruitful work was enhanced by the incorporation of the Félix María Pareja Islamic Library. The Colegio Mayor (student residence) Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe was inaugurated in 1954, as a foundation of the Institute of Hispanic Culture, and as a residence for Spanish and Ibero-American university students. This institution complemented the organization’s policy regarding grants for the higher education of those countries' future leaders and professionals, and it has been open uninterruptedly to this day. Much later, with AECI, the Colegio Mayor Nuestra Señora de África was created. Today, they are both managed by the Colegios Mayores Foundation, and presided over by the State Secretariat for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America. Two other self-governing bodies were also consolidated and integrated into AECI at the time of its creation: the Spanish Arab Institute of Culture (IHAC), which had been functioning since 1954, and had been provided with a legal and operational structure in an Act of 13 February 1974, also as a self-governing institution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the National Commission and the Cooperation Office with Equatorial Guinea (1981). In 1977, the Institute of Hispanic Culture was renamed the Ibero-American Cooperation Centre (CIC), and underwent a significant change to its basic organizational structure, with a President and a Director-General, and the creation of new organizational units: Documentation and Planning and Research, Cultural Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, and Technological and Industrial Cooperation; in other words, with a clear focus on development cooperation. Its new name would not last for long—in 1979, the organization became known as the Institute for Ibero-American Cooperation (ICI), and its purpose was set forth as being Spanish Cooperation with Ibero-America. In this reorganization, the associations, centres and Institutes of Hispanic Culture in Ibero-America, which had been attached institutions since the Organization's inception, were eliminated. In 1985, a new organizational structure was approved for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, involving the creation of the State Secretariat for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America (SECIPI), under which fell the self-governing bodies Institute for Ibero-American Cooperation and Spanish Arab Institute of Culture. The following reported directly to the SECIPI: the Directorates-General for Cultural Relations, for International Technical Cooperation, and for International Economic Relations, as well as the Office and National Cooperation Committee for Equatorial Guinea.


To carry out its work, AECID has an extensive structure abroad, made up of Technical Cooperation Offices, a Network of Cultural Centres and Training Centres, located in the countries where the Agency implements its main cooperation projects. The priority areas for Spanish Cooperation are set forth in the Master Plan 2013‐2016. AECID also performs the duties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in the field of cultural action abroad. The instruments for carrying out the mandate assigned to AECID are principally established in the Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation, the Annual International Cooperation Plan, and the sector-based and country-based strategies, as well as in agreements and conventions with public and private entities and organizations; recently, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), approved by the United Nations, have been added.

AECID Presidents

Term President Term President
(13/01/1989—29/04/1991) Fernando Martín-Valenzuela Marzo (03/05/1991—17/09/1993) Alfonso Fidel Carbajo Isla
(17/09/1993—17/05/1996) Ana María Ruiz-Tagle Morales (18/05/1996—05/05/2000) Fernando María Villalonga Campos
(05/05/2000—19/04/2004) Miguel Ángel Cortés Martín (19/04/2004—11/07/2008) Leire Pajín Iraola
(11/07/2008—23/12/2011) Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (05/01/2012—incumbent) Jesús Manuel Gracia Aldaz

AECID Vice presidents

Term Vice president Term Vice president
(23/01/2012—incumbent) Gonzalo Robles Orozco

AECID Directors

Term Director Term Director
(11/02/2008—27/03/2009) Juan Pablo de Laiglesia y González de Peredo (27/03/2009—12/11/2010) Elena Madrazo Hegewisch
(12/11/2010—19/01/2012) Francisco Moza Zapatero (19/01/2012—incumbent) Juan López-Dóriga Pérez

Technical Cooperation Offices

Angola Costa Rica Egypt Haiti Morocco Niger Senegal
Algeria Colombia Ethiopia Honduras Mauritania Panama
Bolivia Cuba Philippines Jerusalem México Paraguay Uruguay
Brazil Republica Dominicana Guatemala Jordan Mozambique Peru
Cape Verde Ecuador Equatorial Guinea Mali Namibia El Salvador Viet Nam

Cultural Centres

Argentina Costa Rica Equatorial Guinea (Bata) Honduras Paraguay El Salvador - Chile Dominican Republic Equatorial Guinea (Malabo) Mexico Peru Uruguay

Training Centres

Bolivia Guatemala Colombia Uruguay -

• AECID's official website: • Official website of AECID's Cultural Centre of Spain in Tegucigalpa


The content of this Article includes information from: The website of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation: and the following legislative provisions published in the Official Spanish Gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado) Royal Decree 1403/2007, of 26 October, approving the Statute of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. Order AEC/2426/2012, of 23 October, eliminating certain bodies of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.

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