Event report: Namibia and SADC: Past, Present and Future

Also available in Deutsch

On 18 August 2014 the Konrad Adenauer Foundation hosted a panel discussion.

To coincide with the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit - 2014, that took place at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 16-17 August 2014 and also, given that at this Summit, H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, handed over the chairmanship of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to the incoming chairman, H.E. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation organized a panel discussion to discuss Namibia’s role in SADC and what the future holds for the regional block. The public responded positively to the invitation and many people participated. The event was graced by the presence of Prof Andre du Pisani, a retired political scientist and expert on SADC matters, and Prof Chris Saunders, form the University of Cape Town as key note speakers. Prof. Saunders talked about the history of Namibia and its role in SADC. He said ‘it is difficult to find out what SADC is doing due to poor documentation. More transparency is needed to that effect”. On Namibia’s role in SADC during its presidency, he said “Namibia acted too passive in the beginning but got more active later on.” All in all, “Namibia should be a voice for core democratic values within SADC, it should have done more”, the professor concluded.

Prof du Pisani analyzed the status quo and the future of SADC with a special focus on security issues. He argued that the common SADC policies should get more power and less balks, for example when crossing borders within SADC. The recently introduced SADC development fund with 1billion U$$ is another important issue as well as the regional infrastructure development master plan which aims to build up an integrated region. Prof du Pisani highlighted the typical political and technical difficulties with implementation. They include different legal frameworks in the member states, the institutional structure of the fund, and the need to harmonize the investments within the region. He concluded that Namibia would benefit directly and everyone with the gateway port in Walvis Bay. The paper that professor du Pisani prepared for this event is available on request.

Author

Dennis Zaire

Publication series

Event Reports

published

Namibia, October 9, 2014