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Building Anticipatory Governance in SADC: Post-COVID-19 Conflict and Defence Outlook

This paper examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and explores alternative ways of anticipating future developments in the region. Publisher: SAIIA

Over the past four decades, SADC has been able to substantially advance the strategic goal of regional cooperation, coordination and eventual integration on many levels and is a prominent fixture on the Southern African landscape.

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Southern Africa experiences domestic, continental and global turbulence. Peace and security, democracy and development are under threat. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated these trends.

Institutional and decision-making limitations hamper SADC’s ability to respond to large-scale crises – such as natural calamity (floods, cyclone, pandemic) or widespread violence (civil war, violent cross-border extremism).

Can anticipatory governance (AG) assist? AG is a nonpredictive approach to enhance present‐day preparedness, including through building capacities in foresight and multi‐stakeholder engagement, to steer away from possible future disruptive impacts.

By adopting AG, SADC might be able to explore plausible futures, build adaptive capacities and enhance preparedness to navigate uncertain futures.

The paper examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region, analyses the insurgency in northern Mozambique and demonstrates the scenario technique to explore alternative ways of anticipating future developments.

A deep security sector review is recommended, among others, for SADC to better manage its dynamic and fast-changing peace and security environment.

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Henning Suhr

Henning Suhr bild

Head of the Department International Dialogue Programs +49 30 26996-1013
+27 (11)214 2900-201


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