SADC has, since its inception in 1980, created dynamic institutions that have strengthened regional mechanisms to facilitate deeper regional integration.
According to the recently published publication, 40 Years of Sadc: Enhancing Regional Co-operation and Integration, these institutions include River Basin Organizations (RBO), Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs), Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), Sadc Climate Services Center, Sadc Parliamentary Forum (Sadc-PF), Centers of Excellence, Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis Program (RVAA), Sadc Accreditation Services (Sadcas), Regional Climate Outlook Forum in Southern Africa (Sarcof).
40 Years of SADC: Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration highlights the history of SADC and the main achievements of the region since 1980. It was launched in Maputo, Mozambique on June 23, 2021 during the Summit extraordinary SADC of heads of state and government. The publication highlights the main milestones and achievements as well as the challenges faced by the regional bloc over the past 40 years.
The establishment of RBO and TFCA in the SADC region has over the years improved transboundary resource management and cooperation in water and other natural resources, thereby reducing potential conflicts over shared resources. The Region has a total of 13 major rivers that are shared by two or more countries. SADC has recognized the importance of shared water resources for development and regional integration, recognizing that these resources cannot be managed effectively within the restrictive context of national borders.
TFCAs are conservation initiatives that straddle the national borders of two or more Member States and are jointly administered to restore the ecological integrity of transboundary ecosystems separated by international borders. To date, there are 18 terrestrial and marine TFCAs in the region at different stages of development, including the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park and Conservation Area established in 2002 by the governments of Mozambique, South Africa and South Africa. Zimbabwe.
Achievements in the energy sector were achieved through the establishment of the Energy Protocol in 1996. The Protocol is being revised to consolidate the political and regulatory environment of the energy sector in the Region, as well as to align with new and emerging trends.
The Energy Protocol has enabled SADC to establish dynamic institutions to coordinate energy development in the region. These institutions are the Sapp created in August 1995; the Regional Association of Electricity Regulators of Southern Africa (Rera) launched in 2002; and the Sadc Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (Sacreee) which became operational in 2018.
Sapp is responsible for coordinating the planning, generation, transmission and marketing of electricity in southern Africa, while Sacreee spearheads the promotion of renewable energy development in the region. Rera facilitates the development of regional regulatory policies, laws and regulations as well as the monitoring and evaluation of electricity regulatory practices among member states, and supports the development of energy regulators in the region.
Thanks to Sapp, the Region has a viable platform where Sadc’s power generation entities can easily share electricity costs, market surpluses and manage deficits. To date, nine of Sadc’s 12 continental member states are interconnected to the regional grid through Sapp, allowing them to exchange electricity. These are Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Sadc PF was established in August 1997 at the Sadc Summit in Blantyre, Malawi. It is hosted by Namibia as an autonomous institution comprising the national parliaments of the member states and seeks to promote dialogue and popular participation to familiarize and bring Sadc closer to the inhabitants of the region, thus reinforcing the concept of community building.
The first historic steps have been taken towards the transformation of Sadc PF into a regional parliament with the establishment of a working group to analyze the proposed transformation. A regional parliament would facilitate a more in-depth debate on regional issues and thus speed up the implementation of SADC protocols that need to be ratified and incorporated into national legislation, and would become a key driver of integration and development, bridging the gap. gap between citizens and regional integration processes.
To facilitate faster program implementation, Sadc has established Centers of Excellence (CoE) and Centers of Specialization (CoS) covering priority areas, including Sacreee. Frameworks and guidelines have been approved for the creation of CoEs and CoS in other thematic areas.
The RVAA program was established in 1999 and is implemented in 15 Member States. This has evolved into one of the most reliable and robust early warning tools for agriculture as well as food and nutrition security interventions in the Region. Under this program, most Member States have established National Vulnerability Assessment Committees which carry out annual vulnerability assessments. These contribute to the RVAA which provides the state of food and nutrition insecurity in the Region and informs decisions to address it.
Sadcas was created in 2005 to coordinate accreditation services in 13 Member States which do not have national accreditation bodies. The Sadcas operating model, which is the world’s leading multi-economy accreditation body, has proven to be a viable, cost-effective and sustainable model that optimizes the use of limited financial and human resources.
Sadc created Sarcof to improve climate and weather forecasts. Sarcof provides a platform for Member States to review and forecast the rainy season in the region, and discuss the potential impacts of the seasonal climate outlook on socio-economic sectors, including disaster risk management, food security, health, water resources and hydropower management. Sarcof meets annually in August / September and has published seasonal probability forecasts to help member states prepare for their farming season, including early warning of natural disasters such as floods, limiting the impact on citizens.
This coordinated approach allowed countries to share information on time, thus mitigating any potential threats.
An early warning system has been installed at the Sadc Climate Services Center and it has several functions. Some of the functions include providing operational regional climate information services to monitor and provide forecasts for all seasonal climate conditions.
In addition, the system provides for the development and distribution of meteorological, environmental and hydrometeorological products. – Sadc