Region Building and Peace building in Southern Africa
The Botswana seminar assessed key issues on region-building and peace building in Southern Africa, while analyzing South Africa's leadership role in the sub-region. Several recommendations resulted from the two day seminar on “Region-Building and Peace building in Southern Africa” in Gaborone. The SADC needs to promote balanced and equitable development that has relevance to its 281 million citizens. SADC states need to develop a viable regional strategy for beneficiation, value addition, and industrialization. The organisation should consider regional integration as a socio-economic priority, and incorporate factors of complementarity, inclusivity, and equality into its integration model. Deepening of a democratic culture is required within SADC. Civil society activists should not adopt an instinctively confrontational approach towards national governments, and must find ways to cooperate with them, where appropriate. Decentralisation and strengthening of local governance is also essential to ensuring popular participation in governance and empowering local communities. SADC should develop a sense of regional identity and prioritise common values.The South African government must develop a clear vision for regional integration, regulate the role of its corporate sector, and build domestic constituencies that promote regional integration in the sub-region.The issue of migration – both within SADC and to Europe – needs urgent prioritisation. An evolving AU migration policy, which has adopted a developmental approach, could provide useful lessons. Obstacles to the free movement of people must also be removed if regional integration is to succeed. South Africa should subordinate its national interests to broader interests in areas such as immigration and industrialisation.