Windhoek, NAMIBIA: Monday, 18 June 2012-
Members of Parliament from SADC National Parliaments will convene in Windhoek, NAMIBIA from 19 to 20 June 2012, for a SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) Workshop aimed at finalising self-assessment guidelines for the adoption and implementation of Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures in Southern Africa.
The two-day workshop will validate a draft benchmark and self-assessment toolkit for National Parliaments in Southern Africa, which is an implementation tool for benchmarks for democratic Parliaments and will serve to entrench democratic principles and internationally accept governance standards for Parliaments in Southern Africa.
SADC Parliamentary Forum mooted the idea of benchmarks for democratic legislatures across Southern Africa in 2007, to provide a mirror for self-assessment, measuring the performance of SADC Parliaments, strengthening capacity, role and functional independence of Parliaments.
The toolkit is aimed at helping SADC’s Parliaments to assess their strengths and challenges and to identify strategic priorities and include them in their strategic plans for implementation so that they transform to become democratic institutions that are representative, transparent, accessible, and accountable to the citizens.
The toolkit will help advance and enhance parliamentary reforms within Southern Africa and once validated and approved at the 31st Plenary Assembly set for Maputo, Mozambique in July 2012, an implementation process will commence amongst various SADC Parliaments.
The benchmarks are tailor-made for Southern African Parliaments and they therefore self-identify with best practice for democratic legislatures.
The Secretary General of SADC PF, Dr Esau Chiviya, has described the validation of the toolkit as a milestone achievement in Southern Africa’s quest to promote democracy and good governance by strengthening Parliaments as the elected representatives of the people so that they better serve the needs of Southern Africa’s citizens.
Deputy Speaker of the Namibia National Assembly, Hon. Loide Kasingo, who is also the Third Vice President of the Pan-African Parliament will officially open the workshop, which will be attended by the Members of the SADC PF’s Regional Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Gender Equality, the Chairpersons of SADC PF’s other Standing Committees, senior officials from SADC National Parliaments, SADC Parliamentary Forum senior staff and representatives from the global parliamentary body, Inter-Parliamentary Union.
The SADC Parliamentary Forum organised the Workshop in collaboration with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and International IDEA.
For more information please contact Mr. Sheuneni Kurasha, SADC Parliamentary Forum Programme Manager, Democracy and Governance on +264 814728438 or email: