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

Project description

Title: Peace, Security and Good Governance (PSGG)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Lead executing agency: SADC Secretariat
Overall term: 2015 to 2019

Context

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 considered one of the most peaceful regions in Africa, it is nevertheless marked by considerable social 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 16 Member States. The goal is to promote a peaceful political environment within the states based on legitimate, resilient and accountable political institutions and structures.

Objective

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

Approach

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supporting the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (OPDSC). With its Peace, Security and Good Governance (PSGG) project, it develops instruments to prevent and resolve armed conflicts and offers support in developing democratic structures. It is doing so on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Besides the support to OPDSC, the project also provides advice to relevant regional non-state actors. The cooperation with partners includes measures to develop capacities and resources for mediation in political conflicts, advisory and logistical support to electoral processes, support to civic education, and the training of civilians for continental peacekeeping missions.

The project promotes dialogue between SADC and non-state actor representatives within the region. In particular it facilitates exchanges amongst the SADC Parliamentary Forum, the SADC Lawyers Association, the Electoral Commissions Forums, and other regional non-state actors, and relevant political stakeholders.

Results

During the previous phase of the project (2010 to 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. Conflict prevention capacities have been strengthened through the training of over 400 representatives from the region by the SADC mediation unit. This was a combined effort to capacitate national actors in the management of local conflicts to prevent escalation and the need for a regional intervention.

The SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) was supported by GIZ from its inception to its final establishment. 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, the Member States and the Organ Troika 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. An estimated 3,000 regional election observers have been trained as part of SADC’s election capacity development.

The Participatory Initiative on Social Accountability (PISA) in Lesotho, which is co-funded by the European Union, is a civic education initiative aiming to increase civic participation in democratic processes. To date, 70,000 people have participated in various PISA activities such as community and social media-based campaigns.

The SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) 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 on civilian capacities, and 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.

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