Regional dialogue calls for accountability and increased civil society engagement in SADC’s development
From 13-15 September, civil society organisations from across southern Africa met to assess the progress of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in implementing its 10-year strategy, the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-30, with a special focus on the importance of socially accountable public resource management in the region’s development.
More than 200 people from 12 countries attended parallel regional and national meetings in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and participated virtually on Zoom.
The dialogue led to a number of regional and national recommendations to strengthen the implementation of the RISDP. At a regional level, these included:
- Inclusive, multi-stakeholder SADC National Committees should be urgently established or strengthened in all 16 SADC member states, and national and regional reporting should be made publicly available and accessible.
- SADC should facilitate the participation of non-state actors (NSAs) in regional processes through operationalising the Regional NSA Engagement Mechanism, as approved at the SADC Council of Ministers in August 2022.
- SADC member states should prioritise signing the Agreement Amending the SADC Treaty on Transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into the SADC Parliament. This should be followed swiftly by formal amendment of the SADC Treaty and ratification of the protocol by August 2023
- SADC Parliamentary Forum should raise awareness of the Model Law on Public Finance Management and Model Law on Gender-Based Violence, including developing scorecards to assess the alignment of member states’ laws to the model laws.
The recommendations at a national level focused on support for smallholder farmers, sustainable food systems, and accessibility of sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people. There were also calls to widen and support full engagement of Non-State Actors (NSAs), especially women and young people, to ensure public services are responsive and meet their needs.
The full communique from the dialogue can be found here. The communiqué includes the full list of all recommendations along with detailed context and background.
Notes to editors
About the co-conveners: The dialogue was convened by Southern Africa Trust, Southern African People’s Solidarity Network, Economic Justice Network (EJN) of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA), Southern Africa Coordination Council (SATUCC), GenderLinks, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and the Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Alliance (a consortium of organisations including ActionAid International (AAI), Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) of Rhodes University, Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) and SAfAIDS), and CARE International.
About the SADC RISDP 2020-2030: The RISDP covers key areas of regional integration: peace, security, and good governance (the foundation); industrial development and market integration (pillar I); infrastructure development in support of regional integration (pillar II); social and human capital development (pillar III); and cross-cutting issues of gender, youth, environment, climate change and disaster risk management. The full document is available at https://www.sadc.int/document/sadc-regional-indicative-strategic-development-plan-risdp-2020-2030
More information: Contact the PSA Alliance email@example.com.