TANZANIA : THE Member States of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) have been urged to expedite the operationalisation of the Regional Development Fund and the Agricultural Development Fund.
This is expected to guarantee adequate support for implementation of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP-2020-2030).
The programmes are focused on smallholder farmers for sustainable, nutritious, and diversified food systems, sexual and reproductive health interventions for adolescents and young people and education for all.
This was among several recommendations made during the regional dialogue for Non-State Actors (NSAs) on the RISDP-2020-2030 held in Johannesburg, South Africa last week under the theme ‘Accelerating SADC’s Development through the Socially Accountable Generation and Use of Public Resources’.
The event was convened by 14 regional organisations while other members joined virtually from Lilongwe, Malawi; Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe and Dodoma, Tanzania.
In its communiqué, the NSAs dialogue also called upon all Member States to urgently establish and finance SADC National Committees (SNCs), including by introducing legal instruments, as mandated
by the SADC Treaty.
Existing SNCs should further facilitate and support the full
participation of NSAs, especially young people, women, and people with disabilities.
It further implored all member countries to facilitate and broaden participation of NSAs, including by repealing all laws that threaten the existence of a diverse and pluralistic civil society.
Again, the document encourages countries to ensure NSAs can provide input into and easily access national-level planning and reporting information related to RISDP, including by providing information to the public through national SADC media coordinators and to NSAs through national committees.
The member states have also been advised to timeously submit annual reports on the SADC Online Monitoring and Evaluation System on their progress in implementing RISDP commitments and domesticating regional agreements, in accordance with the
SADC reporting requirements, to ensure full data is available to inform regional decision making.
The RISDP 2020-2030 – envision “a peaceful, inclusive, middle to high income industrialised region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice and freedom.
While the document highlights the importance of government partnerships with the NSAs to ensure the successful implementation of regional policies and programmes,
there have historically been few formal opportunities for NSAs to inform or monitor SADC processes at either the national or regional levels.
Multi-stakeholder SADC National Committees (SNCs), although required by the SADC Treaty, continue to be non-existent or
non-functional in most member states.
Therefore, the overall objectives of the 2023 NSAs dialogue were to support and convene space for NSAs to assess regional and national progress in the implementation of the SADC RISDP 2020-2030,
noting achievements and challenges, with a focus on the social sectors of health, agriculture, education as well as cross-cutting issues of gender, youth, climate change and role of industrialisation and trade in resourcing development.