Support for peace, security and good governance in the SADC region

Project description

Title: Support for peace, security and good governance in the SADC region
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: SADC Member States: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Lead executing agency: SADC Secretariat, Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation
Overall term: 2015 to 2018

All elections in the SADC region are accompanied by trained SADC election monitors. © GIZ


Compared to other regions of the continent, the countries of southern Africa experienced longer struggles for independence. Many of the region’s democracies are still in a phase of consolidation, and in the process of making the transition from state security to human security. While it is thought of as one of the richest and most peaceful areas of Africa, the south is nevertheless marked by considerable inequalities. The imbalanced access to resources has led to high levels of corruption and crime, increased abject poverty, the exclusion of youth, women and minorities. In some instances, the inequality has triggered crises and conflicts that threaten to stifle development in the region. Most conflicts are further exacerbated by a lack of resilient and accountable institutions.

In an effort to reduce and mitigate conflicts, and advance democratisation and the establishment of a sustainable social and economic order in the region, the Southern African Development Community, SADC, has introduced various protocols and guidelines that encourage the economic and political integration of its 15 Member States. The goal is to promote a peaceful political environment within the states based on legitimate, resilient and accountable political institutions and structures.


Political integration has strengthened within the SADC region, and the conditions for peace, security and good governance have improved.


GIZ is supporting the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (OPDSC) as it develops instruments to prevent and resolve armed conflicts and to develop democratic structures. It is doing so on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Besides the support for OPDSC, the project also provides advice to relevant regional non-governmental organisations, including measures to develop their capacities and resources for mediation in political conflicts, and the training of civilians for international peace missions. It also provides advisory and logistical support for election observer missions carried out by the SADC Secretariat, the Member States and NGOs.

The project promotes dialogue between SADC and civil society representatives within the region. In particular, it facilitates exchanges amongst the SADC Parliamentary Forum, the SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (SADC-CNGO) and other regional non-state actors, and relevant political stakeholders.


During the previous phase of the project (2010-2014), GIZ supported SADC in the revision of the ‘Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ’ (SIPO II), the main objective of which is to create a peaceful and politically stable environment that enables the region to meet its socio-economic objectives. This has strengthened the political role of SADC in the mediation of conflicts in the region. Member States turn to the regional organisation to initiate mediation measures: SADC has already played an important role during the crisis in Lesotho, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

The SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) was supported by GIZ from its inception to its final establishment and operationalisation. This is an independent body that assesses the state of democratisation in the region, primarily by evaluating electoral processes in the SADC Member States. SEAC has become an important institution, advising SADC on critical aspects of conducting democratic elections in the region.

GIZ has contributed to the revision of official standards for democratic elections in SADC Member States, i.e. the Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections in the SADC Region. SADC monitors the adherence to these standards through its own election observation missions, which it deploys at every election held in the region.

Botswana. Participants at the launch of SIPO II  © GIZ

The SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre has trained civilian and military personnel, as well as members of the police forces of the SADC region, enabling them to participate in peace support operations. GIZ cooperated with the RPTC in developing a vision for the RPTC that would encourage and support the shift from state security to human security. The cooperation is guided by the African Peace and Security Architecture, and the SIPO.