Governance and Security Challenges in Post Apartheid Southern Africa
This report by the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, considers the key governance and security challenges facing Southern Africa, with a focus on the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) sub-region’s progress towards democracy, and its peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding efforts – particularly in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Madagascar. Inspired by the concept of conflict resolution developed by the first African United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Egypt’s Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in his 1992 report, An Agenda for Peace, the report argues that appropriate early action can help to prevent the escalation of disputes into open conflict, and in the case of fragile, war-affected countries, a relapse into renewed violence. In his report, Boutros-Ghali put forward a comprehensive view of conflict resolution, envisaging it as a continuum of preventive diplomacy; peacemaking; peacekeeping; and post-conflict peace-building. Not only must the root causes of conflicts be tackled through addressing governance challenges, but effective peacemaking and peacekeeping mechanisms must also be developed, as well as a comprehensive strategy for post-conflict peace-building. Democracy and “good governance” are critical for effective peace-building and fostering economic development in Southern Africa. Credible multi-party elections, in particular, provide the main legal channel for the orderly transfer of power between competing political groupings, as well as enabling SADC’s 257 million citizens to participate in political processes. Over the past two decades, the Southern African sub-region has experienced a wave of political change, moving from protracted civil war and colonial or authoritarian rule towards peace and more democratic modes of governance, although the nature and pace of democratization has varied widely across SADC’s 15 member states. Between 1992 and 2012, more than 60 national and presidential elections have been held in Southern Africa, with only Swaziland’s absolutist monarchy running counter to the sub-regional trend towards participatory democracy. Civil society has grown increasingly vocal, and a critical media has emerged in many parts of the sub-region.