Strengthening Regional Parliamentary Capacity in the SADC Region
The specific outcome is to empower the two selected SADC-Paliamentary Forum Committees to influence the political agenda and decision making of the SADC and contribute to the regional legitimacy of the SADC-PF.
The intervention is a contribution to the stated objective of the SADC-PF Strategic Plan (2014-2019) to transform the operational procedures of the SADC-PF to those of a parliamentary institution and also aligning its Committees to the SADC in order to become the SADC Regional Parliament.
Output 1: The two targeted SADC-PF Committees, the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women's Advancement and Youth Development and the Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture, Natural Resurces and Infrastructure, regularly meet around well-prepared and sufficiently timed agendas
Output 2: The Members of Parliament and the staff of targeted Committees have acquired the knowledge and skills to better carry out their work
Output 3: SADC-PF is represented in regional and international forums and showcases the importance of the SADC-PF and of regional parliaments
The target group of the intervention is the SADC-PF and specifically two of its standing committees, Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women's Advancement and Youth Development and the Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture, Natural Resurces and Infrastructure. The SADC-PF is a Regional Inter-Parliamentary body comprising of National Parliaments of SADC Member States. It currently comprises 14 member Parliaments, representing over 3,500 Parliamentarians.
The Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) works in partnership with African parliaments to strengthen democracy in Africa, keep Africa high on the political agenda in Europe, and facilitate African-European parliamentary dialogue. Strong parliaments lie at the heart of Africa’s long-term development; they serve as the arbiters of peace, stability and prosperity. AWEPA strives to strengthen African parliaments and promote human dignity.
The following types of activities will be undertaken
• Facilitation of SADC-PF Committee meetings outside of plenary
• Support in the preparation of Committee reports
• Specific trainings for Members of Parliament and Committee staff
• Facilitation of interaction with civil society
• Coaching from peers for Committee Staff
• Expert advice to the committees on their legislative and oversight functions as Members of Parliament
• Facilitation of informed participation of SADC Members of Parliament in regional and international platforms
By supporting the implementation of the SADC-PF Strategic Plan, the intervention makes a contribution to SDG #16(6-7) to develop “effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” while supporting “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision making at all levels.” In addition, by scaling up the output of two SADC-PF Standing Committees, a contribution is made towards the realisation of SDG#5 on gender equality, SDG#2 on hunger, SDG#6 on water and sanitation and SDG#13 on climate change.
Governance is a thematic priority for Austria's engagement in the SADC Region and stregthening of the role of parliaments is an important component in the Three Years Programme of Austria's Development Policy. Through assistance to / cooperation with parliaments ADC contributes to democratization, good governance and ultimately also to poverty reduction.