SADC-EU Support to Peace and Security Programme (SPSS)

Project Status: Ongoing

Theme: Peace, Security & Good Governance

Contact Details

Programme Coordinator

Name: Dr. Kondwani Chirambo
Telephone: +267 364 1875
E-mail: kchirambo@sadc.int

Why is SADC Invested In Peace and Security Work? 

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) aspires to promote political and economic independence, durable peace and security, and poverty eradication. Peace and security are considered as the necessary preconditions for regional development because instability in one Member State could have negative impact on neighbouring countries and become a stumbling block in regional integration. That is why the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030 (RISDP) and SADC Vision 2050, acknowledge that peace, security, democracy and good political governance are the foundation and key primary enablers of regional integration and development. 

How Does SADC Seek To Sustain Peace and Security?

SADC established the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation in 1996 as an institutional framework to coordinate policies and activities on politics, defence and security. The Organ has several objectives, chief among them being:

  • Promotion of regional coordination and cooperation on matters related to security and defence and establishment of appropriate mechanisms to this end;
  • Promotion of the development of democratic institutions and practices within Member States and encourage the observance of universal human rights as provided for in the charters and conventions of the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN);
  • Protection of region’s people from the breakdown of law and order, intra-state conflict and aggression; and 
  • Prevention, containment and resolution of intra- and inter-state conflicts.

The Organ operates on a Troika system where three Heads of State and Government are elected every year to deal with issues of peace and security in the Region. The Troika convenes meetings whenever there are challenges of peace and security in the region and reports to the Chairperson of SADC.

The Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation was adopted in 2001 to specify the structure of the Organ, including how the Troika system works as well as to define the functions and responsibilities of various committees that would be established to support the Organ. The Protocol has a range of intervention mechanisms and institutions to sustain the peace and security in the Region. 

The Protocol was operationalised through the revised Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPOII), whose main objective was to create a peaceful and stable political and security environment through which the region was to realise its objectives of socio-economic development, poverty eradication, and regional integration. This blueprint, which expired in 2021, and the key strategic imperatives on peace and security have been integrated into the RISDP 2020-2030 as a foundational pillar. 

What is SPSS? 

The Support to Peace and Security in the SADC Region (SPSS) is designed to strengthen the capacity of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to promote peace, security and democracy across the region. In this regard, it focusses on strengthening the region’s peace and security architecture, which includes mechanisms dealing with mediation, conflict prevention and management, and addressing transnational organised crime as well as Gender Based Violence.

Linking SPSS Objectives with SADC Treaty, RISDP 2020-2030 and Vision 2050

The objectives of the SPSS Programme are in line with the SADC Vision and aspirations as outlined in the SADC Treaty and the Region’s various strategic plans. The SADC Treaty (1992) defines the SADC Vision as that of a Shared Future, “a future within a regional community that will ensure economic well-being, improvement of the standards of living and quality of life, freedom and social justice, and peace and security for the people of Southern Africa”.

The objectives of the Treaty are to be achieved through increased regional integration built on democratic principles, and equitable and sustainable development. Key principles upon which the regional cooperation would be founded include human rights, democracy, rule of law, equity, balance and mutual benefit and peaceful settlement of disputes.

Under the Peace, Security, and Good Governance foundational pillar of RISDP 2020–2030 and Vision 2050, SADC aims to enhance conflict prevention, management, and resolution mechanisms with an effective early warning system capable of tracking and monitoring political, security, and socio-economic threats. The intended outcomes include: strengthened early warning systems; enhanced conflict mediation, prevention, and preventative diplomacy capacity to support Member States; structured engagement with civil society, especially youth and women, in conflict prevention, management, and resolution of disputes in the Region; and regional measures and strategies to address Transnational Organised Crime.

The SPSS aims to support the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation through:

  • Technical assistance in the formulation of strategies, legislation, actions plans and guidelines to ensure coordinated actions consistent with SADC Protocols and international conventions;
  • Capacity building assistance through training of state and non-state actors in the 16 SADC Member States to implement these strategies, action plans and guidelines and strengthening response mechanisms;
  • Awareness raising on the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, promotion of domestication of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections as well as the implementation of the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) Strategy for the Prevention of Electoral Related Conflict;
  • Raising awareness on the SADC Protocol on Gender  and Development, with specific focus on GBV provisions, as well as the SADC  Regional Strategy and Framework of Action for Addressing Gender Based Violence 2018 – 2030;
  • Strengthening national institutions that deal with prevention and management of conflict to ensure intra-state stability; human security as well as supporting the implementation of the SADC Regional Strategy on Women, Peace and Security (2018-2022) at regional and national levels.
  • Develop and promote the implementation of the Strategy to address Transnational Organised Crime, including supporting joint operations for detection, investigation and prosecution of Transnational Organised Crime between Member States.

What Sectors will be Supported Under the SPSS?

Under Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO II\0, SADC regional cooperation on peace and security is divided into five sectors which are supported by the SPSS:

  • Political Sector: deals with national government and state/foreign affairs;
  • Defence Sector: deals mostly on military matters and is responsible for peace, stability and security affairs;
  • State Security Sector: deals with intelligence/national security and is concerned with threats against governments or Member States; 
  • Public Security Sector: deals with protection of civil society, including emergency management, justice, immigration and organised crime; and 
  • Police Sector: deals with law enforcement agencies responsible for transnational organised crimes such as drug trafficking, unlawful possession of firearms and stock/property theft. 

In addition, the SPSS Programme works closely with the Gender Unit, especially on the regional gender based violence response.  The Programme mainstreams gender across all the five Sectors of the Organ.
 

Objectives

What are SPSS Key Result Areas?

KRA 1: Strengthened Capacity For Electoral Assistance in SADC

Key Result Area 1 focuses on the continuous assessment of electoral processes and seeks to support the development of democratic institutions and practices within SADC member states, as well as encouraging observance of universal human rights. The KRA places emphasis on addressing the strategic link between electoral assistance and conflict prevention. This KRA primarily supports the Political Sector.

KRA 2: Enhanced Capacity in SADC for Gender-Sensitive Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution

Key Result Area 2 recognises that elections are one of the main triggers of social conflict therefore it is important to link mediation processes with electoral assistance to avoid election-related conflicts. The KRA also endeavours to enhance the capacity of SADC to implement gender-sensitive conflict prevention, management and resolution of inter- and intra-state conflict by peaceful means Its main focus is to strengthen SADC’s infrastructure for peace. The KRA is cross cutting, with its primary focus being the Political Sector, but also extending to State Security and Defence Sectors, in respect of address terrorism and armed conflicts.

KRA 3: Strengthened Capacity of SADC Member States to Uphold and Enhance Crossborder Safety and Security

Key Result Area 3 seeks to strengthen the implementation of global and regional commitments related to transnational organised crime and enhancing the capacity of law enforcement agents to detect, prevent and combat Transnational Organised Crime (TOC). Its primary support goes to the Police Sector, with collaborative efforts involving the Public Security Sector, particularly in respect of how corruption enables TOC.

KRA 4: Strengthened SADC Capacity to Address the Prevalence of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Key Result Area 4 seeks to further strengthen the capacity of SADC to address issues of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) by building a critical mass of service providers capable of effectively responding to GBV, coordinating of SGBV interventions and undertaking public education and awareness raising interventions at national level. Its primary beneficiary is Public Security Sector, with Gender as a cross-cutting issue across the entire programme.

What Impact does the SPSS Expect to Make at the End of the Programme?

It is envisaged that by the time the SPSS Programme comes to an end, the following positive outcomes would have been achieved: 

  • There will be stronger regional capacity for electoral assistance in SADC
  • There will be enhanced capacity in SADC for gender-sensitive conflict prevention, management and resolution
  • There will be stronger capacity at SADC Member State level to uphold and enhance cross-border safety and security; and
  • There will be stronger regional capacity in SADC to address the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence.

Milestones of the Organ

Based on the objectives of the Organ and the RISDP 2020-2030 and Vision 2050 targets,  SADC has made commendable progress in its efforts to promote peace and security in the Region. Under the Peace, Security, and Good Governance foundational pillar of RISDP 2020–2030 and Vision 2050, SADC aims to enhance conflict prevention, management, and resolution mechanisms with an effective early warning system capable of tracking and monitoring political, security, and socio-economic threats. The intended outcomes include: strengthened early warning systems; enhanced conflict mediation, prevention, and preventative diplomacy capacity to support Member States; structured engagement with civil society, especially youth and women, in conflict prevention, management, and resolution of disputes in the Region; and regional measures and strategies to address Transnational Organised Crime. 

The commendable progress made thus far include the establishment of strategic institutions to prevent and manage conflict such as the: 

  • Establishment of SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC).
  • SADC Mediation, Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy Structure.
  • Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO).
  • SADC Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC)
  • SADC Standby Force.
  • Regional Early Warning Centre (REWC).
  • SADC National Committees (SNCs) 
Achievements

Based on the objectives of the Organ and the RISDP 2020-2030 and Vision 2050 targets,  SADC has made commendable progress in its efforts to promote peace and security in the Region. Under the Peace, Security, and Good Governance foundational pillar of RISDP 2020–2030 and Vision 2050, SADC aims to enhance conflict prevention, management, and resolution mechanisms with an effective early warning system capable of tracking and monitoring political, security, and socio-economic threats. The intended outcomes include: strengthened early warning systems; enhanced conflict mediation, prevention, and preventative diplomacy capacity to support Member States; structured engagement with civil society, especially youth and women, in conflict prevention, management, and resolution of disputes in the Region; and regional measures and strategies to address Transnational Organised Crime. 

The commendable progress made thus far include the establishment of strategic institutions to prevent and manage conflict such as the: 

  • Establishment of SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC).
  • SADC Mediation, Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy Structure.
  • Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO)
  • SADC Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC)
  • SADC Standby Force.
  • Regional Early Warning Centre (REWC).
  • SADC National Committees (SNCs) 

How is SPSS Financed?

SPSS is funded by the European Union to the tune of €15 million.

Duration of the Programme

The Programme will run for a period of three-and-half years (2018 – 2023)

Key Stakeholders in the SPSS Programme

The main target group of the programme are the citizens of the SADC region and works with the following strategic partners, which include the following:

  • SADC Parliamentary Forum 
  • International Cooperating Partners such as: 
    • GIZ
    • United Nations Department for Political Affairs
    • United Nations Refugee Agency
    • United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, and
    • UNWomen
  • Non-State Actors such as:
    • SADC Electoral Commissions Forum
    • Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, and 
    • African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes.