Civil society organisations urged to scale participation in regional integration projects


Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and trade unions, among others should enhance their participation in activities put in place by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meant to promote regional trade.

This is according to the Consumer Unity Trust and Society (CUTS) Lusaka Board member, Sajeeve Nair, who stressed the need for the enhanced participation by non-state actors to promote regional trade.

Nair said among the programmes which non state actors could participate in was the project on “Engagement for Results: Capacitating Regional Civil Society Organisations and their Networks to effectively participate in the SADC regional integration process.”

He explained that this was aimed at accelerating progress towards the implementation of the SADC regional integration agenda through the strengthening of SADC secretariat and member states structures.

He said this in Lusaka on Wednesday at national CSO workshop.

Read more: Zambia, Zimbabwe move to establish joint agro industrial park to accelerate intra-regional trade

“The goals of the project are to: strengthen the capacity of regional CSO’s and their structures to effectively engage with key stakeholders to contribute towards the implementation of the SADC regional integration agenda.

“The other goal is to enhance the role and efficacy of regional CSOs and their networks to effectively document, disseminate and communicate progress on regional integration agenda,” Nair said.

Nair said the workshop would provide a platform for implementing agencies and partners to understand the current advocacy landscape and challenges within the context of SADC regional integration.

At the same workshop, a Trade Consultatnt, Shadreck Saili said Zambia had signed about 54 SADC instruments.

Saili therefore pointed out the need for a thorough analysis of each SADC instrument to establish its domestication and implementation in Zambia.

He also said a thorough understanding of the process of domestication and implementation parameters of the SADC instruments at Zambian level was cardinal to appreciate milestones.

“Reliable data source is also important as well as analysis of SADC commitments Vs regional and bilateral commitments,” he said.

Meanwhile, ActionAid Zambia Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Manager, Geoffrey Sizala, said the project focussed on the five inter-relates processes of public resources management.

Sizala explained that this was being done using a rights and evidence based approach to social accountability monitoring.

He said this through ActionAid Zambia Climate Justice Officer, Rebecca Mwanmbazi.

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