Notes on the Press Conference by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad on Monday 15 August 2005 on the SADC Ministerial Meeting and Summit from 15 - 18 August 2005 in Gaberone, Botswana

The SADC Silver Jubilee Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government takes place on 17-18 August 2005.

General Council of Ministers meeting 15 - 16 August 2005.

Key Agenda Items

Review of Developments in the region, with special emphasis on the economic, social, food security and political situation.

  • Challenges facing SADC and proposed priorities for August 2005 to July 2006.
  • Poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
  • Agriculture and food security,
  • Gender equality,
  • HIV and AIDS and other infectious diseases,
  • Peace and stability
  • African Union and NEPAD
  • Relations with International Co-operating Partners
  • Consideration for finalisation of the candidate-membership status for Madagascar and application of Rwanda
  • Appointment of Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Economic growth positive.

In 2004, economic growth accelerated in the SADC region as GDP grew by 4.1 % against the growth rate of 3.2 percent achieved in 2003.

Economic growth, not homogeneous across the region. Fastest growing economies in Angola, Mozambique and DRC with growth rates of 11 percent, 7.8 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively. Botswana, Malawi were also above Africa's and SADC average growth rates with GDP of 4.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

GDP growth is attributable to a combination of factors including the deepening of sound macroeconomic reforms, improved prices for major export commodities and improvements in agricultural production.

International Food Policy Unit [Washington] have found that poverty and malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa will worsen if drastic action is not taken on global trade policy and aid.

To meet MDGs a 56% investment increase in rural roads, 117% in education, 55% in clear water and 44% in agricultural research and 8% annual gross domestic product growth estimated that average.

The RISDP provides a broad policy framework to deliver on SADC's over-arching objective, namely poverty reduction within the context of Millennium Development Goals (MDG). To achieve these goals, the RISDP has also articulated policies for the four Directorates as well as cross-cutting units such as HIV and AIDS, Gender, Statistics and Environmental issues. The major goals and objectives as contained in the RISDP through which poverty reduction will be addressed include the following;

  • Achievement of Free Trade Area (FTA) by 2008
  • Establishment of a SADC Customs Union by 2010
  • Achievement of a Common Market by 2016
  • Establishment of a Regional Central Bank by 2018
  • Attainment of a Monetary Union by 2020 and
  • Establishment of a SADC Single Currency

DRAFT PROTOCOL ON THE FACILITATION OF MOVEMENT OF PERSONS IN SADC

The SADC Treaty is very clear about the need to promote sustained economic growth and socio-economic development in the region. The alleviation of poverty and the improvement of the quality of lives for our people are the key challenges that we are faced with as a Community.

The Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation considered and approved the Draft Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons, which will be tabled at this Summit for signature. This Protocol will be a catalyst for the integration of the Southern African people.

The Treaty mandates us, to ensure that "SADC shall eliminate obstacles to the free movement of capital and labour, goods and services and of people in the region generally among Member States".

The specific objective is to facilitate entry into Member States without the need for a visa for a maximum period of 90 (ninety) days per year.

Deeper integration requires integrated and efficient infrastructure which will be enhanced through the following key interventions:

  • Transport
  • Communications and ICT
  • Energy
  • Water, and
  • All other interventions will be implemented in their contributions to the core priority areas.
  • Priority areas under infrastructure and services specifically transport and communications should be allocated adequate funding to support the regional integration agenda. Resources should not be thinly spread as this minimises the impact of interventions.

POLITICAL

On track of peace and stability. Consolidation of democracy and rule of law in our region.

The application of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections in our Region adopted by Summit last year in Mauritius, in Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe

In October this year, the United Republic of Tanzania will be holding both presidential and parliamentary elections. Angola and DRC will hold elections in 2006.

Decision on the Merger of the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights and the Court of Justice of the African Union (Assembly/AU/Dec.83(V))

The Assembly decided that a draft legal instrument relating to the establishment of the merged court should be completed for consideration by the next ordinary session of the Executive Council and the Assembly. Ghana was tasked with this process and to be assisted by Algeria. In addition, it was decided that all necessary measures for the operationalisation of the African Court on Human and People's Rights should be taken, including the election of judges, determination of the budget and activation of the Registry. Heads of State and Government decided that the seat of the merged Court would be decided by member states of the Eastern Region. This seat would also serve both as the seat for the African Court on Human and People's Rights and the Court of Justice of the African Union

PEACE AND STABILITY

DRC

New constitution adopted by Parliament and there will be a constitutional referendum in November 2006. Constitutional guarantees 50- 50% gender participation in the political institutions.

Elections June 2006.

Integration of 7 brigades of the Defence and Security forces. AU Decision of forcible disarming of ex-FAR and Interahamwe. SADC Organ decisions to support this.

Voter registration has started in Kinshasa - over 2 million registered.

Donor response. South Africa's role.

ANGOLA

Peace is holding, preparation for elections in 2006.

Relative peace and security in the region, however some challenges remain, interalia, cross border crime, trafficking of weapons, airspace and maritime security and terrorism.

To deal with the new challenges the first ever SADC CONFERENCE ON DEFENCE AND SECURITY CO-OPERATION held in Maputo in December 2004.

The AU Protocol re the Peace and Security Council and the operalisation of its various structures demand that SADC has a common approach. The Conference discussed the threat of transnational organised crime, terrorism and mercenarism.

Important to operationalise to the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ by developing business plans with time frames.

The Conference identified the following as the major sources of conflict in

Africa and in SADC in particular:

i. Poverty and ignorance;
ii. Governance issues especially ignited by the need for a fair distribution of wealth and resources;
iii. Symbolism needs, (the need to be recognised and inclusiveness in the national affairs);
iv. Environmentally induced threats such as water, population and environmental degradation;
v. Re-emergence of mercenarism which, in some cases, operate under the guise of private security companies;
vi. The new forms and perceptions of terrorism;

AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE

The SADC contingent. Modality report approved. Planning at an advance stage. The financial, administrative and logistical procedures are being finalised as well as the MOU on its deployment.

EARLY WARNING SYSTEM

A SADC Early Warning concept have been agreed to. There will be a workshop in October 2005 to discuss insecurity and conflict indicators. SADC agreement with UNDP to implement a Peace Building Project.

SADC Council of Ministers and Summit will have to consider the implications of some major AFRICAN UNION DECISIONS

Sirte Declaration on the Reform of the United Nations. (Assembly/AU/Dec.87(V))

The Assembly reaffirmed the Ezulwini Consensus, which is the Common African Position on the Proposed Reform of the United Nations, adopted by the Executive Council at its 7th Extraordinary Session from 7-8 March 2005.

The Resolution resolved to enlarge the Security Council, to accord the new members the same prerogatives and privileges as the current members, grant Africa two permanent and five non-permanent seats in the Security Council and to increase its membership from fifteen to twenty six with eleven additional seats. Of these eleven seats, six will be Permanent and five Non Permanent. The Permanent seats will be distributed as follows: two from Africa, two from Asia, one from Latin America and Caribbean States and one from Western European and other States. The non permanent seats will be distributed as follows: two from Africa, one from Asia, one from Eastern European States and one from Latin America & Caribbean States.

The Follow-up Mechanism, charged with the task of making Africa's views known to other regions of the world and engaging them for reciprocal support and wide acceptance of the Common African Position, comprised of the Core Group of Three and a Committee of Fifteen Members (three representatives per region).

The member states that have expressed interest in the Permanent seats are South Africa, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and more recently Angola and The Gambia. Regarding the allocation of seats, some suggestions were that the seats should be given to the AU who would then allocate them to member states and that the two smallest African nations should get the two permanent seats as they have no vested national interests.

  • AU Foreign Minister's agreement with the G4 in meeting in London
  • Extra Ordinary Summit of AU in Addis Ababa decision. SADC has to discuss this issue and get a common position.

NEPAD

SADC submitted our Report on the Status of and Prospects for Achieving the MDGs in the SADC Region to NEPAD and AU Commission as an input into the African Position on the MDGs which was submitted to the AU Assembly in July, 2005. The Report will subsequently be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in September, 2005.

SADC States are facing challenges in achieving the MDGs by 2015 inter alia, high poverty levels and income inequalities, persistence food shortages, environmental degradation, HIV and AIDS and other infectious diseases as well as institutional, policy and resource constraints.

SADC region faces uneven prospects of achieving the MDGs. Significant policy reforms. These include institutional capacity building, domestication of the MDGs into country long-term development strategies, effectiveness and transparency in the management of natural resources through good governance and partnership-building with all the stakeholders. At the international level a fair international trading system, a deep and broad debt relief programme and new financial commitments through grants, are needed.

Gender

2005 is the deadline set in the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development (SDGD) of 1997 for the achievement of 30% representation of women in all areas of decision-making. More still needs to be done to meet the commitments that had been targeted to be achieved by 2005.

Status of the representation of women in Parliament, Ministerial and Deputy/Assistant Ministerial portfolios: Up-dated July 2005

Country% Female Parliamentarian% Female Ministers% Female Deputy / Ass MinisterLast ElectionNext Election
Angola16.4%11%11.1% 2006
Botswana 9.8%25 % 16.6%20042009
DRC122.5 %  2006
Lesotho12 (Upper House 36%)
(Lower House 11.7%)
23%33% 20022007
Malawi 13.99%20% 20042009
Mauritius 17%  2005 2010
Mozambique33%24% 2004 2009
Namibia 22.1% 14.81%15% 2004 2009
South Africa 32.75% 42.9%47.6% 2004 2009
Swaziland 19 (Sen 6.7%)
(HA 10%)
18.8%  2003 2008
Tanzania 22.5% 15% 29%2000 2005
Zambia 13.7%23.8% 9.75% 2001 2005
Zimbabwe 10.7% 19% 5.26% 2005 2010

Sources: National Reports

In view of the slow progress that has been made by most member states, and in order to facilitate progress for those countries that have achieved the minimum target, as well as to take account of global and regional development trends, Council is urgent to take note that it has become necessary to review the 30% target with a view to raising it to the 50% equity target. This would be in line with the African Union target, which SADC Member States are party to, and will challenge slower countries to progress quicker towards achieving gender equity and equality.

Council will discuss the proposal to review the current 30% target in the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development on the representation of women in the political and decision-making structures to 50% representation, in order for this target to be in line with the continental target set at the African Union.

Council will discuss the proposal to review SADC Declaration on Gender and Development in a holistic manner and up-grade it into a Protocol on Gender and Development.

Food security

Estimates for the 2005/06 indicates that seven Members States (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) are facing poor crop harvests.

The cereal production in Angola, Lesotho, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania has improved.

Maize surplus of 5.71 million tonnes assessed in South Africa. This indicates that the SADC region will be self sufficient in maize, despite deficits assessed for Zimbabwe (1.38 million tonnes) Malawi (781, 000 tonnes) as well as deficits of lesser magnitude assessed for all other Member States.

TABLE 7: 2005 All Cereals Production Estimates (in '000 tonnes), compared to 2004 harvest and 5-year average

Country2005 harvest 2004 harvest % change5-year Average% change
Angola8356532860937
Botswana 1934 -4425-22
DRCnanananana
Lesotho120 8148121-1
Malawi 14221843-232018-30
Mauritius 22020
Mozambique18361903-41666 10
Namibia 140 1354 111 26
South Africa 1416211623221174421
Swaziland 67 78-1471 -5
Tanzania 5068 4928 3410224
Zambia 10621368 -221201 -12
Zimbabwe 7272956-751845-61
SADC2546025604 -1235158

Source: SADC FANR Directorate

Decision on the Scale of Assessment (Assembly/AU/Dec.88(V))

The Session of the Assembly further decided to adopt the new Scale of Assessment for the AU, which is based on the principle of capacity to pay of Member States, with a ceiling rate of 15% and no floor rate. The new scale will come into effect from 01 January 2006 and would be subject to review every three years upon recommendations from the Ad Hoc Ministerial Committee. During discussions on the scale, five major contributing countries, namely Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and South Africa, pledged to pay the ceiling rate of 15% of the AU budget. This effectively guarantees 75% of the budget. The remainder of the Member States will share 25% of the budget based on each individual country's capacity to pay.

Administrative Secretary and Deputy Administrative Secretary Posts

  • Three nominations for Administrative Secretary
  • Five nominations for Deputy Administrative Secretary
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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa