Poverty eradication is at the top of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) agenda. Poverty remains one of the greatest challenges in the SADC region, with approximately half of the population living on less than $1 a day, according to the International Council on Social Welfare. Hunger, malnutrition, Gender Inequalities, exploitation, marginalisation, high morbidity, and HIV and AIDS are a few of the complex challenges that contribute to poverty in the SADC region.
Planning for Poverty Eradication
The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan is the regional framework that guides SADC in achieving its development objectives through sustainable economic growth and economic integration. This plan identifies poverty eradication as the overarching priority of Regional Integration in Southern Africa. To elaborate on this plan and to translate its priorities into an implementation framework, SADC has also developed the Regional Poverty Reduction Framework. This framework covers critical areas where a regional approach is expected to strengthen the national interventions in the fight against poverty.
In order to ensure that the plan and the framework are achieving their targets, SADC’s Regional Poverty Observatory will be functional by 2013 to monitor progress towards poverty reduction targets of SADC Member States.
Partnerships to Tackle Poverty
SADC recognises that the poverty challenge is not insurmountable and can be tackled by the following measures:
- Implementing people-centred policies on sustainable human and Economic Development;
- Enhancing productive capacities of Member States and the region;
- Enhancing income-earning opportunities for the poor;
- Creating socio-economic and political conditions that favour poverty eradication;
- Addressing inequalities, marginalisation and vulnerabilities that perpetuate poverty; and
- Confronting the global imbalances and policies that hinder the situation of the majority of poor countries.
The Poverty and Development Programme
This programme is intended to contribute to the realisation of regional poverty eradication targets and the Millennium Development Goals. Through its operation, it seeks to address structural, historical, and global drivers of poverty in the SADC region and to enable SADC and Member States to increase action against poverty.
The SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organisations, in partnership with groups such as labour and trade unions, have come together to develop a Poverty and Development Charter. The Charter outlines a shared poverty eradication and development vision that guides principles and frameworks for pro-poor development throughout Southern Africa.
Policy Analysis and Dialogue Programme
The Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilisation (PPRM) Directorate within the SADC Secretariat is responsible for coordinating and networking research, policy analysis and strategy development.
The function of strategic development must be based on quality research and policy analysis on key areas of regional cooperation and integration, most notably on (1) Politics, Defence and Security; (2) Trade and Economic Integration; (3) Infrastructure Development; (4) Food Security, Natural Resources and Environment; (4) Social and Human Developments and (5) Cross-Cutting areas like Gender, HIV/Aids and Environment.
In the current framework of the strategic review of the “Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan” (RISDP) the SADC Secretariat has prioritized the above mentioned functions and commenced on a Policy Analysis and Dialogue Programme.The programme is intended to promote regional policy dialogue and debate on key regional integration issues aiming at guiding development of regional policy processes
- Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan
- SADC Declaration on Poverty and Development
- SADC Regional Poverty Reduction Framework
- SADC Policy Analysis and Dialogue Programme