The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat with support from its cooperating partner, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ), hosted a validation workshop for SADC Member States in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 26th July 2016.
The workshop was subsequent to the decision of the last Council meeting held in March 2015 when the Secretariat was directed to develop a costed implementation plan for the Draft Revised Communication and Promotional Strategy aligned to the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Plan (RISDP) and the Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap in order for Council to consider and approve the Strategy at its next meeting in August 2016 in Mbabane, Swaziland.
The first meeting of this working group took place during the seating of the Regional Adjudication Committee (RAC) held in Kasane, Botswana on the 20-24th June 2016, where GIZ facilitated the discussions.
The workshop was jointly to finalize the Implementation Plan for the Draft SADC Communication and Promotional Strategy which included activities for Members States and the Secretariat. Member States presented their budgets for activities based on guidelines provided by the Secretariat.
The Draft SADC Communication and Promotional Strategy is intended to guide on communication and awareness, strengthen relations and partnerships, and improve information sharing and knowledge exchange by SADC citizens.
The Chairperson of the SADC National Media Coordinators, Mr. Russ Molosiwa who is also the Director of Media Communications for Botswana, welcomed the delegates to the workshop. He urged Member States to take heed of drawing up the implementation plan and identify activities that they can undertake as a region. He said that Member States should apply their technical expertise in drawing up a regional comprehensive implementation plan with costed activities. He further encouraged participants to be accurate in costing their activities as this will inform the Secretariat, Member States, Council and Summit on the resources needed to drive issues of communication and information disseminating.
Member States undertook an exercise to populate the activities and later on worked on the budget for each activity as per the guidelines. The workshop also approved the draft implementation plan, which included costed activities in the eight Key Result Areas (KRA) that form the basis of the plan.