Since SADC transformed
itself from a coordinating conference to a development community in
1992, a number of declarations, treaties and protocols have been signed,
but no structure has been established which specifically provides for
mainstreaming youth participation in creating policies and programmes.
At a recent youth conference in Mozambique, delegates
discussed issues of concern to the region’s young people as well as
mechanisms for placing youth policies as a priority on the political
agendas of SADC countries.
"Youth participation in the construction of a
better future strengthens government in finding appropriate solutions to
the most pressing problems that our youths are confronted with today…
they are the key element for the development of our society," said
Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, SADC’s chair-person, who opened
The First SADC Youth Conference, attended by about
500 representatives from governments and civil
society, identified "youth
participation" in education and health
programmes as priority areas.
aim of the conference was to put youth
issues on the SADC agenda by fostering
regional linkages between youth to advocate
key development priorities," said
Norman Makore, assistant secretary for
Zimbabwe’s Ministry of National Affairs,
Employment Creation and Co-operatives.
Youth face a range of
obstacles to full participation in national
and regional programmes because resources
are limited. Policy-makers have tended to
focus on unborn or very young children in
safe motherhood and immunisation programmes.
Realising the barriers
faced by youth, the conference made
"Recommendations for Youth
Participation in The SADC Structure."
The participants called
upon governments to:
ensure youth involvement in
enhance a strong learning
society embracing the existing education systems and strengthening
partner-ships with government, civil society, private sector, local
communities and other stakeholders;
revise education systems in
terms of quality, relevance and equity to ad-dress specific
needs of youth in order to enable them
to adequately respond to the complex,
competitive and changing nature of
SADC Youth Ministers should
mobilise resources for programmes
with-in the region and that priority
should be given to funding of youth
ensure youth participation
in research and documentation on the
situation of youth and HIV/AIDS,
youth needs and challenges and best practices.
recommendations will be presented to the
SADC Heads of State and Government during
the SADC Summit in Windhoek in August.
By Diana Mavunduse
After losing the 2006
World Cup bid in most controversial circumstances in the 70-year
history of the tournament, South Africa is leaving no stone unturned.
Irvin Khoza, SA Bid Committee Chairperson was at
the time of writing reported to have engaged a top Belgian lawyer who
is an expert in Swiss law to contest the decision by the soccer
governing body, FIFA, which awarded the bid to Germany on 6 July
FIFA is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where
the voting was conducted.
South Africa lost the right to host the
multi-million dollar event after FIFA’s 24-man executive voted 12-11
in favour of Germany, with one decisive abstention by Charles Dempsey,
the Oceania representative who said he was subjected to intolerable
Dempsey ignored specific instructions from his home
country New Zealand, which ordered him to switch his vote to South
Africa in the
event that England had lost. England lost in the
second round of voting, leaving the race between Germany and South
Africa. But after voting the first and second rounds, Dempsey abstained
in the third round.
"Why must we keep quiet? What happened was
unprecedented and we need to sort it out for the good of the game,"
Khoza told Reuters.
Africa remains the only continent that has never
hosted the tournament in its 70-year history. Ostensibly, some sectors
in South Africa have begun actively campaigning for a rotation system,
to make Africa the host in 2010.
Europe has dominated the right to host, followed by
South America. North America hosted the event 1994 while Asia’s turn
is in 2002. Many had hoped that the tournament would this time assume
its "true world" status by coming to Africa.
But all this hope went up in smoke when Germany,
another European country after France staged the event in 1998, won the
"Africa’s time will
come," said President Thabo Mbeki in apparent comfort to the SA
2006 World Cup Bid Committee which had worked so hard with assistance
from former president Nelson Mandela. "Let us con-tinue to learn…
Your efforts cannot be faulted," Mbeki said of the Bid Committee.
With the bid going to Germany, South Africa lost a
potential US$2.5 billion boost to its gross domestic product (GDP)and
about 100,000 jobs.
Its southern African neighbours, particularly
Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe would
have benefited directly.
According to Ambrose Mendy, a British sports
marketing expert, Zimbabwe lost a minimum of US$50 million in
estimated potential revenue as a result of the failure by South Africa
to host the 2006 World Cup.
With the World Cup coming after every four years,
Africa will have to wait for another chance in 2010.