SANF 22 no 03 – by Kizito Sikuka and Clarkson Mambo
This is the second in a series of two articles looking forward to 2022 in the SADC region.
Towards a regional parliament
On the governance and policymaking front, the transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a regional parliament is expected to dominate the integration agenda this year.
This follows the approval of the much-awaited transformation by the 41st SADC Summit that met in August 2021 in Lilongwe, Malawi.
A SADC Regional Parliament will ensure broader citizen participation in regional affairs by facilitating more extensive debate on regional issues. This is expected to accelerate the implementation of SADC protocols that need to be ratified and domesticated into national legislation.
According to the decision of the 41st SADC Summit, the SADC Parliament will start as a “consultative and deliberative body” with no law-making or other binding authority.
The regional parliament is expected to observe and respect the sovereignty of SADC Member States, while in operational terms it would consult and liaise with other SADC institutions and structures such as the Council of Ministers through which its recommendations would be channelled for consideration by Summit.
Regarding the relationship with national parliaments, the new regional parliament is expected
to facilitate the drafting of model laws, while the former will continue their legislative role in domesticating regional laws as well as oversight role on the effective implementation of executive programmes and projects at the national level.
The Legislature has long been seen as the missing arm of SADC.
Strengthening peace and security
With regard to peace and stability, SADC will this year remain seized with the political and security situation prevailing in the region since stability is a key factor in sustainable development.
The SADC region has generally enjoyed stability despite some pockets of volatility, as seen currently in northern Mozambique.
Meeting for their Extraordinary Summit in January, the region has already shown its commitment to fully address the instability in Mozambique by extending the regional military mission in that country by another three months.
This is the second time that the mandate of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) has been extended since its deployment in July 2021, with notable progress having been recorded to curb the conflict.
SADC is also expected to encourage more Member States to implement an Action Plan for the Implementation of Security Threats Report which was adopted last year.
The action plan contributes towards forging a holistic approach for sustenance of security at both national and regional levels, which includes the operationalization of the Regional Counter Terrorism Centre as part of the SADC Regional Counter Terrorism Strategy.
SADC will also remain seized with the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the political situation in the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Kingdom of Lesotho in line with the region’s democratic agenda.
Taking stock of Vision 2050 and Revised RISDP
The SADC Vision 2050 that provides strategic direction for the region, and its anchor, the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 are now in their second year of implementation.
The year 2022 provides an opportunity for the region to take stock of progress in implementation to ensure the goals are achieved for a unified, integrated and prosperous region.
Adopted in August 2020 by the 40th SADC Summit held in Maputo, Mozambique, the SADC Vision 2050 is aligned to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 — The Africa We Want, and is predicated upon the existing SADC vision which aims for “a common future in a regional community that will ensure economic wellbeing, improvement of the standards of living and quality of life, freedom and social justice, and peace and security for the people of Southern Africa.”
The Revised RISDP 2020-2030 is a regional roadmap that prioritizes the integration issues of infrastructure development, industrial development and market integration, social and human capital development and other crosscutting issues, including environment, climate change, disaster risk management, gender and youth empowerment.
In a departure from the previous regional strategic plans, the Revised RISDP 2020-30 combines interventions previously presented under the Revised RISDP and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation.
42nd SADC Summit
SADC will convene its 42nd Summit in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August to track and advance the implementation of the integration agenda.
At the summit, President Félix Tshisekedi of DRC will assume the rotating SADC chair from his Malawian counterpart, Lazarus Chakwera.
President Hage Geingob of Namibia will become the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, taking over from President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.
The SADC Organ is responsible for promoting peace and security in the SADC region. It is mandated to steer and provide Member States with direction regarding matters that strengthen peace, security and stability in the region. (sardc.net)
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