About the Campaign

The SADC WE WANT campaign aims to gather widespread support by mobilising popular opinion, to energize people and organisations around common demands and actions.
Carried by a sustained campaign to collect at least 10 million signatures in support of the core demands. These voices – united in purpose – express the urgent need to inject the voices and demands of citizens of SADC states into the regional development paradigm.

Background

The SADC WE WANT campaign is led by the civil society Apex Alliance which includes the Southern African Trade Unions Coordination Council (SATUCC), SADC Council of NGOs (SADC-CNGO) and the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA). The Apex Alliance is an independent apex alliance of umbrella formations of civil society in all the 15 SADC member states, representing thousands of faith-based and grassroots organisations and millions of organised workers.

The Apex Alliance partners convened the 8th Civil Society Forum (CSF) in August 2012 in Maputo, Mozambique. The CSF is a space where leaders of NGOs, churches, trade unions, social movements and other civil society structures come together to discuss a wide range of regional integration and development issues affecting the SADC region. The theme for the 8th CSF was “The SADC We Want” and it produced a comprehensive resolution which forms the basis for this campaign.

The SADC WE WANT Campaign gives practical expression to the policy positions of civil society – as reflected in the CSF Statement – which captures the strategic perspectives on: gender, debt, participation, trade and regional economic integration, the environment, tax justice, children, the informal economy, the media and access to information and freedom of expression, free movement of persons, governance and accountability, decent work, youth, democracy, good governance and stability as well as social and human development.

These demands are the ultimate objective of the campaign, which by necessity requires core institutional reforms within SADC. For this reason the SADC WE WANT Campaign is a multi-year campaign and its demands have been fashioned around core demands against which progress can be measured annually at the CFS. The campaign will run for two to five years with the intention to make SADC more transparent, accountable and more open to participation in all its undertakings.

Campaign Objectives

Our chief aim is to promote and facilitate civil society contributions towards regional integration and development in line with Articles 16A and 23 of the SADC Treaty from the standpoint of civil society guided by the need to ensure sustainable people-centred development, open and accountable governance and participatory democracy. The 8th Civil Society Forum (CSF) gave a clear mandate for a campaign of sustained duration to impact directly on the processes and policies, as well as institutions, of SADC and Member States.

Specific Outcomes include:

  • Effectively functioning SADC National Committees in all 15 member states of which national civil society organizations are integral parts;
  • Institutionalized spaces for civil society engagement at SADC level
  • Reinstated SADC Tribunal with its original mandates and competences
  • Elevated SADC PF to become a Regional Parliament with legislative and oversight mandate and competence
  • A comprehensive and cohesive Regional Poverty Reduction Strategy and People Centred Regional Integration Framework

After a long process of extensive consultation it was agreed that campaign will focus on three core demands in this initial phase. These three demands are broadly defined by a signature campaign which was launched at the 9th Civil Society Forum held in Lilongwe, Malawi, in August 2013.

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