Transforming SADC into a Regional Authority

btn_signthepetitionCivil society is calling for transformation of the SADC Secretariat to a SADC Regional Authority with full competences to develop policies and direct program implementation, staffed with highly competent and skilled people, accountable to the Regional Parliament

Motivation

The role of the supranational institutions in the context of regional integration has long been the subject of debate . SADC is a form of a supranational institution with a set of rules which are supposed to be applied by it’s members. The fact that the SADC member states have a Treaty and signed various Protocols implies that they agree to be bound by these set of rules and instruments that require some form of sharing of sovereignty.

However, SADC still experiences lack of compliance to , domestication and implementation of the agreed set of rules policies and principles. Agreeing to a regional Treaty implies that the sovereign states submit themselves to norms which are adopted at that higher level of governance. So far, the SADC Secretariat does not have the powers or the clout to enforce compliance and implementation of the Treaty to the member states. Consequently, member states continue to pursue their specific national interests without much consideration to their obligations and commitments at regional level.

The net impact of such trends has been slow integration and delayed achievement of the regional integration milestones.

In such circumstances, the Secretariat should have been in a position to draw member states to account; yet it does not have such mandate. Therefore, civil society is calling for transformation of the SADC Secretariat to a SADC Regional Authority with full competences to develop policies and direct program implementation, staffed with highly competent and skilled people, accountable to the Regional Parliament. Such a Regional Authority would be an added advantage important pillar for regional governance with sound democratic tenets and system of checks and balances. The competences, functions and the structures of the Authority are issues that must be solemnly discussed with all the stakeholders in SADC as it has implications for the future of the region and its people.

In such circumstances, the Secretariat should have been in a position to draw member states to account; yet it does not have such mandate. Therefore, civil society is calling for transformation of the SADC Secretariat to a SADC Regional Authority with full competences to develop policies and direct program implementation, staffed with highly competent and skilled people, accountable to the Regional Parliament. Such a Regional Authority would be an added advantage important pillar for regional governance with sound democratic tenets and system of checks and balances. The competences, functions and the structures of the Authority are issues that must be solemnly discussed with all the stakeholders in SADC as it has implications for the future of the region and its people.

A reform in the existing governance structure of SADC as to make it more transparent accountable and responsive to needs of the citizens is matter of urgency as it would greatly contribute in preserving the past gains and expedites further the regional integration process. The imperative has been already acknowledged and reflected in the various protocols of SADC to which member states have committed.

What is missing is though a driving and centrifugal force to push the implementation process of the protocols and program by pulling together the capacities and resources of the region. To play such a role, a region Authority is critical and a matter of necessity. SADC We want has as an objective, the intention to produce a draft framework of the Regional Authority to lobby leaders and various stakeholders in SADC.

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