Building Peace in Southern Africa
The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a policy research seminar in Cape Town on 25 and 26 February 2010 on the theme: “Building Peace in Southern Africa”. The meeting assessed Southern Africa’s peace building challenges by focusing largely on the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the sub-region’s principal Regional Economic Community (REC), which constitutes 15 member states (Madagascar, included in this number, was suspended in March 2009). Adopting the approach that peace and security are essential prerequisites for development for Southern Africa’s 257 million inhabitants, and that building peace requires a holistic approach, the seminar critically assessed the broad institutional, security, and governance challenges that have confronted SADC in the two decades since it took its present form in 1992. Particular attention was paid to four priority areas that the SADC secretariat itself has identified: governance; military security; food security; and HIV/AIDS. Other topics discussed included: regional integration; the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and prospects for a free trade area in Southern Africa; the role of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA); the impact of climate change; xenophobia and issues of migration; and the regional role of external actors, such as the United States (US), China, the United Nations (UN), and the European Union (EU).