SADC Parliamentary Forum
The scourge of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) mostly affects women and the girl child in southern Africa, with its multi-dimensional effects negatively also impacting on the lives of men and boys in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Globally, one in two women have experienced GBV at some point in their lives, while in South Africa, reports indicated that someone was raped every 25 seconds.
It is on the back of such empirical evidence that the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC) of the SADC Parliamentary Forum tabled a motion during the 44th Plenary Assembly Session of the Forum in 2018 to develop a regional Model Law on Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The 44th Plenary Assembly unanimously adopted the motion in an attempt to remove threats to peace, security and the accomplishment of different developmental objectives.
Following the adoption of the motion, the SADC PF launched stakeholder consultations on 18 August 2021 targeting different players in the public and private sectors. They included human rights commissioners, traditional leaders, GBV survivors and different United Nations agencies, to name a few.
Speaking at the launch, the Chairperson of the RWPC, Honorable Anne-Marie Mbilambangu explained that the Model Law should be a tool used by SADC Member States to prevent and eradicate all forms of GBV.
She said that the RWPC would do everything “to improve social and economic conditions for women, because we think that they are the most affected by all forms of GBV.”
She added: “Our objective is to do it in such a way that everyone – in particular women within the region – regardless of colour or belief, have the possibility to accomplish their full potential without any hiccups or interference by GBV.”
South African Community Advocate Caroline Peters narrated her harrowing ordeal as a GBV survivor during the consultative meeting and bemoaned the fact that ever since she experienced GBV, very little had changed in terms of statistics.
“I am a survivor of brutal gang rape and my friend was murdered at the age of 16. When this happened to me, I didn’t realise this would be the
Seasoned journalist, gender practitioner and human rights activist Ms Pamela Dube from Botswana has called on media practitioners in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to raise awareness on the impact of Gender-Based Violence in the SADC Region.
Dube was speaking during a virtual consultative session to familiarise the media on the SADC Model Law on Gender-Based Violence, convened by the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) on 6 August 2021.
She said the media had a strategic and important potential to contribute to the prevention and elimination of GBV in the SADC region. “I wish to call on you to raise awareness on the impact of GBV in the SADC Region. Raise awareness on the role of the Model Law on GBV in the prevention of GBV and raise awareness on the stakeholder consultation process,” she said.
She challenged the media practitioners to support the implementation process. She compared the stigma suffered by GBV survivors to what families of those affected by AIDS had experienced in the past.
“At the highest point of HIV and AIDS, there was a lot of denial around our communities until we started seeing people coming forward. Once we saw the face and people could identify with the problem, stigma could be dealt with. We are faced with the same scourge right now which is at the homes, the offices and on the streets. Until we step to the plate and be able to give face to this and be able to speak to the heart of the problem, very little can be achieved,” Dube warned.
In addition, she urged the media workers to seriously ponder the role they wished to play toward GBV eradication and pointed out that while laws could be made, it was important for media practitioners and citizens to understand them.
“Laws can be made, our leadership can rise to the occasion, but if we are not in the forefront of giving information and disseminating, then very little, if anything will be achieved,” she said.
According to Dube, the SADC region faces different challenges in relation to GBV. High on that list are inadequate national laws, inadequate national frameworks and inadequate gender-disaggregated statistics, as well as outdated laws.
“It is against this background and in response to calls from various stakeholders to meet the goal of eliminating GBV by 2030, that the SADC PF commissioned the development of a Model Law on GBV that will be used to address, prevent and combat all forms of GBV,” she explained.
She underscored that GBV impedes efforts to achieve national, regional, continental and global development goals. GBV not only has terrible effects on survivors, but it also impacts negatively on society at large with serious socio- economic consequences.
“It raises enormous public health problems which are often overlooked. Survivors and victims of GBV are at high risk of severe and long-lasting health problems such as death from injuries or suicide, poor mental health, chronic pain, deafness, unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and or AIDS,” she said.
While 13 SADC countries had laws on domestic violence and 14 on sexual assault, there was still evidence of GBV being most commonly perpetrated by “husbands or intimate partners” at global and regional levels. Moreover, Dube pointed out that COVID-19 had exacerbated the situation.
Speaking during the same event, Zimbabwean journalist Joseph Munda concurred with Dube and said: “It (GBV) is a key issue that has been going on and increasing with COVID-19 and there are a lot of dynamics around it.”
He, however, lamented challenges that journalists face and called for more information around good practices and some of the laws implemented by other SADC Member States. Munda felt that if information around effective laws was shared, it would make brainstorming for possible solutions to end GBVeasier.
“These are some of the key challenges that we have. Most of us are now working virtually and getting information can prove difficult at times. As a region, the information sharing itself and the learning process is very important for us journalists to be able to gather and disseminate information,” he noted.
Munda also stressed the lack of support structures to be able to get stories done, specifically due to a limitation of resources, which in turn shifts attention toward political and other stories.
Basadi Tamplin raised issues of strengthening cyber-security due to multiple instances that have seen a correlation between GBV and cyber-crimes. “Everyone has access to the internet and we all use internet to 24/7. There are alarming rates of
Welcome to SADC Scrutinizer, a new and special newsletter of the SADC Parliamentary Forum focusing on the development and implementation of model laws by our Forum.
Following a very progressive motion tabled by our Regional Women’s Parliamentary Forum (RWPC) in Maputo, Mozambique in 2018 and unanimously adopted by the 44th Plenary Assembly Session of our Forum, our Secretariat, under the capable leadership of our Secretary General, Ms. Boemo Sekgoma, hit the ground running and began the process of developing a SADC Model Law on Gender Based Violence (GBV).
This is a timely intervention given the frightening levels of GBV and Sexual GBV affecting many of our member states and other countries all over the world.
The Model Law on GBV comes at a time when, all over the world, there are increasing calls to prioritise support for women and girls who bear the brunt of GBV; comprehensively respond to online abuse; increase funding to girls’ education; end violence against women and girls; prioritise women and girls when responding to crises like the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic; place vulnerable and marginalised groups at the centre of programing as we move to strengthen democracy; and deepen and broaden sustainable development.
The many consultations held with various stakeholders to consider the draft of this Model Law on GBV provided a valuable opportunity for like-minded people and organisations to compare notes on strategies to end GBV.
Additionally, the consultations enabled Member States to showcase the amazing work that they are doing in their respective jurisdictions to respond to GBV as captured in this edition.
I am incredibly proud of all those who worked so hard to develop this regional soft law which many expect will go a long way in helping Member States develop or refine laws and policies related to GBV.
We are under no illusion that this Model Law on GBV will be a panacea to GBV. Nevertheless, we are convinced that it will go a long way in supporting Member States as they work towards removing barriers, bias, stereotypes, inequality and discrimination that continue to thwart a significant portion of our population, especially women and girls.
Beyond the development of this Model Law, we need to continue working together to ensure that all people have equal access to opportunities so that they can thrive.
As reported elsewhere in this edition, the COVID-19 global pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges. There is, therefore, need for affirmative efforts to bring everyone on board. Developing this Model Law and the many consultations that were held, have enabled us to pause and reflect on the extent, drivers and impact of GBV in our Member States.
The heart-rending reports of GBV in some of our Member States have emboldened us to double our efforts towards ending this embarrassing scourge. Indeed, we cannot develop our communities if we leave some of our compatriots behind. We need to join hands in ensuring that the rights of women and other members of our population do not get rolled back and to ensure that perpetrators of GBV, in all its forms, are held to account.
This requires all hands on board and we expect the media to be the arrowhead in breaking the conspiracy of silence on GBV. Indeed, our media in their various formations, have an obligation to amplify the voices of women and girls who bear the brunt of GBV as well as the voices of those working towards making a difference in the fight against GBV.
Allow me to end by once again commending and saluting all organisations and individuals that
joined and supported us in this gallant effort. This is your Model Law. Use it.
51ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY SESSION OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM 7TH TO 16TH JULY, 2022, LILONGWE, MALAWI04 Jul 2022
THEME: "Towards Energy Efficiency, Sustainability and Self Sufficiency in the
SADC Region" GENERAL INFORMATION CIRCULAR
The information contained in this document is meant to guide delegates to 51st SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) Plenary Assembly which will be held physically in Lilongwe, Malawi from 7th to 16th May, 2022.
The Parliament of Malawi is honoured to host the meeting and would like, therefore, to extend its warm welcome to all the delegates Malawi.
2. Venue and Format of the meetings
The 51st Plenary Assembly Session will be held physically at Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) which is located at the City Centre in the Capital City of Lilongwe, about 30 minutes -drive from Kamuzu International Airport. However, the delegates who are not able to travel to Lilongwe may also join the meeting on line through Zoom Platform which will be created.
i. 7th July - Arrival of the SADC PF Secretariat
ii. 8th July - Meeting between SADC PF Secretariat and the Host Secretariat
iii. 9th July - Arrival of the SADC PF President
iv. 10th July - Arrival of all other Delegates
v. 11th July - Official Opening Ceremony (Morning) and Plenary Symposium (Afternoon)
vi. 12th to 14th July - Plenary Assembly Session
vii. 15th July - Excursions
viii. 16th July - Departure for all Delegates
All documents for the meeting will be circulated in electronic form on a portal to be set up. No hard copies will be provided at the venue of the meetings. In this regard, the delegates are being advised to bring their laptops in order to be able to access the documents electronically.
Each delegate must be in possession of a valid passport and those that require a visa should make the necessary arrangements upon entry into Malawi. For most SADC countries, visas can be issued on arrival.
6. Reception on Arrival
Delegates will be met on arrival at Kamuzu International Airport by Protocol Officers from the Host Secretariat who will assist and accompany the delegates to their respective hotels.
Parliaments are, therefore, being advised to submit the travel itineraries for their delegates to the Malawi Parliament at least by 20th June, 2022, with copies to the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
Registration of delegates will be done on arrival at the Information Desk which will be located at the venue of the meeting. In order to speed up the registration process, the delegates are being requested to submit in advance details of their information including passport size photos.
8. Transport Arrangement
The Malawi Parliament will be responsible for local transport arrangements for the delegates during arrival, departure and to and from the meeting venue and the recommended hotels listed under Paragraph 12 of this Information Circular.
Any transport requirement outside the Meeting Programme will be regarded as private and delegates will be expected to meet the cost of such services.
9. Security Arrangement
The Malawi Government, through its security agencies, will provide security to the delegates based on international practice throughout the duration of the meeting.
The delegates will be given identity badges upon registration. These are expected to be worn throughout the period of the meeting for purposes of security, ease of identification and to facilitate access into the meeting venue.
10. Medical Services
Clinical Services will be available at the venue of the meeting throughout the period for minor ailments. However, illness requiring serious attention may be referred to the nearest Government Hospital. Delegates who opt to go to a private hospital, will be responsible for their own medical bills. In this regard, delegates are encouraged to have a Health Insurance.
11. COVID-19 Preventive Guidelines
11.1 Delegates should take note that, with effect from 1st June, 2022, the following COVID-19 Preventive Guidelines will come into force in Malawi:
a. All arriving delegates that are fully vaccinated will be required to show a valid electronically verifiable COVID-19 full vaccination certificate at point of entry;
b. Delegates that are not fully vaccinated or don't have a valid electronically verifiable COVID-19 full vaccination certificate, will be required to produce a negative PCR based COVID-19 certificate that is not older than 72 hours at the time of arrival in Malawi; and
c. For the delegates that are returning to their respective countries, the COVID-19 PCR certificate and or COVID-19 full vaccination certificate requirement will depend on the their destination country's requirements.
11.2 Delegates are further advised that, in line with the resolution of the 50th Plenary Assembly, in the event that a delegate to a Forum activity tests COVID-19 positive, the costs of quarantine will be borne by his or her National Parliament.
11.3 During meetings, the following COVID-19 preventive measures will strictly be followed:
i. Regular temperature checks;
ii. Wearing of face masks by all delegates at all times;
iii. Seating arrangement of at least 1.5 meters social distance;
iv. Washing hands with soap regularly or sanitization; and
v. Any delegate experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will be required to isolate and inform the Secretariat.
12. Hotel Accommodation
Each delegate will be responsible for his or her accommodation expenses. Below is the list of recommended hotels. Delegates are supposed to make the bookings directly with the hotels by quoting "The Malawi Parliament". Delegates are advised to settle their hotel bills before departure.
List of Recommended Hotels
Type of Room
(Bed & Breakfast)
Distance to BICC
President Walmont Hotel
Sunbird Capital Hotel
Executiv e Deluxe
1.0 km (3 minutes walk)
Golden Peacock Hotel
1.5 km (5 minutes-drive)
2.1 km (4 minutes' drive)
100 (on Friday and Saturdays
= 70 USD)
4.5 km (8 minutes)
Programme for the excursion will be circulated to the delegates during the course of the meeting.
14. Local Currency
Foreign exchange facilities are available through bureau de exchange facilities on weekdays and weekends. Most internationally recognized currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged at commercial banks, hotels and international airports.
As at April 2022, the local currency (Malawi Kwacha/MK) is as follows: 1 US Dollar = MK1,020
1 Pound = MK1,400
1 Euro = MK861.62
1 Rand = MK51.22
15. Credit Cards
The following credit cards are acceptable in Malawi banks and in all hotels and restaurants: American Express, Master Card and Visa Card.
16. Business and Shopping Hours
Office and businesses are generally open from 07:30 to 17:00, Monday to Friday. Shopping hours vary but most shops are open from 08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday and from 08:30 to 14:00 on Saturdays.
The climate between May and August in Malawi is winter period, usually cold dry season. It is expected that during the period of the meeting, temperatures will range between 11.1 degrees and 20.5 degrees Celsius.
English is the official language in Malawi.
The mains electricity supply in Malawi operates at 220 - 230V, 50-60Hz, square pin plugs.
20. Time Difference
Malawi is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
21. Emergency Services (Tel Numbers):
- Hospitals: 118
- International Airport: +265 1 700 899
- VIP Airport: +265 1 700 256
25. Contact Persons
(A) SADC PF Secretariat
Yapoka N Mungandi
Cell: +264 81 3048395
(B) Parliament of Malawi
i. Coordinator: Mr. Joseph Manzi Cell: +265 999 800 831
ii. Assistant Coordinator: Ms Siphiwe Komwa Cell: +265 999 145 392
iii. Accommodation: Mrs. Maggie Chinsinga Cell: +265 991 567 326
iv. Transport: Mrs. Portia Sibande Cell: +265 882 716 093
v. Protocol: Mrs. Gloria Dzidekha Cell: +265 888 891 424
- INFORMATION CIRCULAR-51ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY
- PROGRAMME FOR THE 51ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY
- CONCEPT NOTE ON THE THEME
STATEMENT FROM THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE SADC-PF ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PARLIAMENTARISM 30TH JUNE 202230 Jun 2022
It is with immeasurable pleasure that I release this statement to the Forum’s august Member Parliaments and partners in view of celebrating the International Day of Parliamentarism on this 30th June 2022.
On this dignified day, the Forum celebrates parliamentarism in all its forms, including through national, regional or local parliaments in Southern Africa. It is recognised that parliamentarism at all levels is the embodiment of a functioning democracy which is grounded in the Rule of law and a respect for human rights. A parliament elected through regular, free and fair elections is a guarantee for adequate checks and balances congruent to the sacrosanct notion of separation of powers. The SADC-PF further acknowledges that parliamentarism is an effective form of public engagement, and thus pays tribute to the gracious efforts of its partners around the world, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which have focused on the crucial theme of public engagement to celebrate parliamentarism in 2022.
Whilst the world slowly recovers from the pandemic and continues to face other health and economic challenges, parliaments remain at the centre stage of reform action. As a peace-building institution, it is the appropriate forum to resolve conflicts through representative, oversight and legislative initiatives that are spearheaded with the approval of the people. Parliamentary dynamism and pro-activeness can thus go a long way to ensure that conflicts are thwarted and that lasting solutions for peace are found through leadership and dialogue. In addition, consistent public engagement remains a necessary ingredient for a participatory democracy.
In this respect, the Forum remains committed to implement Sustainable Development Goal 16 on accountable, effective and inclusive institutions for peace, which reiterates the commitment to strengthen the capacity of Parliaments as provided for in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. While Africa is steering its way towards lasting peace, the Forum will continue to support Parliaments to achieve this noble objective. Long
Ms Boemo M. SEKGOMA,
Secretary General, SADC Parliamentary Forum
30th June 2022
Programme - Joint Meeting of the SADC PF Standing Committees on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) and Trade, Industry, Finance And Investment (TIFI) - 1st May 202202 May 2022
14:00 - 14:10
Remarks by the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on FANR
Hon Leon Andre Tumba, Chairperson
14:10 - 14:55
Presentation on Agroecology as a Sustainable Response to Climate Change: International and Regional Evidence:
· ActionAid - [15 min]
· ESAFF – agroecology from the perspective of the smallholder farmer [15 min]
· CCARDESA - research on agroecology [15 min]
14:55 - 15:25
Committee’s Interactive Dialogue on Presentations
15:25 – 15:45
15:45 - 16:15
Presentation on Agroecology in Southern Africa: Programmes and Investment:
· Regional and national investment in agroecology – gaps and opportunities [15 min]
· FAO - programming and support agroecology in southern Africa (and good practice from other regions) [15 min]
Mr Martin Muchero
16:15 - 16:45
Committee’s Interactive Dialogue on Presentations
16:45 - 17:00
Closing Remarks by the TIFI Chairperson
Hon Anele Ndebele, Chairperson
END OF MEETING
CONCEPT NOTE FOR THE JOINT MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES ON FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES; AND TRADE, INDUSTRY, FINANCE AND INVESTMENT02 May 2022
The effects of climate change - persistent drought, flooding and pests – compounded by economic challenges, poverty, conflict, gender disparities, and gaps in social accountability, have all contributed to the SADC region’s food security crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic has reduced incomes and disrupted supply chains, further exacerbating poverty in the region. According to the SADC Synthesis Report on the State of Food and Nutrition Security and Vulnerability in the Southern Region, released in July 2021, up to 47.6 million people (approx. 13% of total population) in the SADC region are food insecure. While many Member States experienced a bumper maize harvest in 2021, the above-average rainfall was coupled with a destructive cyclone season. In the ten SADC Member States that submitted data, an estimated 47.6 million people are food insecure, a 5.5% increase from 2020 and 34.3% above the 5-year average.
Smallholder farmers, who produce most of SADC’s food, have been impacted by the effects of Covid-19, including lower household incomes, limited access to inputs (seeds, fertilisers) and lack of extension services to combat the ongoing threat of pests and diseases. In particular, the pandemic has affected multiple aspects of the lives of women smallholder farmers, who supply about 50% of total agricultural labour in Sub-Saharan Africa, from undermining their food security and eroding their savings, to increasing their unpaid care workload and heightening their risk of gender-based violence.
In 2003, African Union (AU) member states signed the Maputo Declaration, which committed to increasing agricultural budget allocations to 10%, pursuing agricultural growth of 6%, and to setting up the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Soon after, SADC member states signed the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration in 2004, which established priority areas for achieving food security, including short-term approaches such as ensuring access to quality seeds, fertilisers, and agrochemicals. Additional regional instruments followed, guiding both regional and national actions: Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP) 2013; Regional Agricultural Investment Plan (RAIP) 2017-2022; SADC Food and Nutrition Security Strategy (FNSS) 2015-2025; and SADC Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (CCSAP) and Strategy, 2015 – 2030.
According to the African Centre for Biodiversity, however, practices that emanate from CAADP which have been implemented by African governments, such as input subsidies through farm input subsidy programmes (FISPs), have not always had the desired effect. While international, continental and regional (SADC) commitments promote support for smallholder farmers as a key strategy for achieving household food security, agricultural policy making in the region has failed to adequately respond to the needs of smallholder farmers.
Instead, large portions of national budgets are directed towards FISPs by providing subsidies that reduce the price of fertiliser and seed (usually hybrid maize). Aside from providing a partial economic safety net, the subsidies have been found to not directly benefit the poor and most vulnerable, who are mostly women. Instead, the FISPs have led smallholder farmers to direct scarce resources towards hybrid maize production, effectively reducing the diversity of food available. In a 2021 global report, the FAO acknowledges that current agricultural support “is biased towards measures that are harmful and unsustainable for nature, climate, nutrition and health, while disadvantaging women and other smallholder farmers in the sector.” FAO advocates that by “repurposing agricultural producer support, governments can optimize scarce public resources to support food systems in ways that make them not only more efficient, but also more supportive of healthy lives, nature and climate. This can also be an opportunity to achieve a strong economic recovery in a post-COVID-19 pandemic world.”
With the effects of climate change causing droughts and flooding throughout the SADC region, the need for long-term measures to reduce the impact of climate shocks and build the capacity of communities and countries to withstand them have become even more urgent. Covid-19 has further highlighted the need to support local, sustainably produced food with shorter value chains to ensure countries are resilient, even in the face of disasters.
- The Potential Role of Agroecology
The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) in the United Nations (UN) Committee on World Food Security (CFS) recently defined agroecology as follows:
“Agroecological approaches favour the use of natural processes, limit the use of purchased inputs, promote closed cycles with minimal negative externalities and stress the importance of local knowledge and participatory processes that develop knowledge and practice through experience, as well as more conventional scientific methods, and address social inequalities. Agroecological approaches recognize that agri-food systems are coupled social–ecological systems from food production to consumption and involve science, practice and a social movement, as well as their holistic integration, to address [food and nutritional security].”
Among the key benefits of agroecology, include:
- Year-round access to healthy, fresh, diverse and culturally-appropriate food for local populations;
- Reduced poverty and a key contribution to the realization of the right to adequate food and nutrition;
- Increased climate resilience and reduced greenhouse gasses (GHG) emission;
- Empowerment of women and reduced workload burden;
- Diversified livelihoods and valued local, tribal and indigenous knowledge and culture;
- Improved health through reduced exposure to harmful agrochemicals;
- More resilient ecosystems, healthier soils and improved water management;
- Lower costs, less debt and greater autonomy;
- Enhanced stewardship of seeds, crops, biodiversity, forests and natural resources.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) have highlighted the key role for agroecology in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The FAO has recognised it as a “promising option to implement the Paris Agreement,” as it addresses climate change adaptation and mitigation simultaneously. Recent reports by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate (IPCC), and the HLPE, all urge support for agroecological systems for smallholder farmers, as opposed to high external input industrial systems, and indicate these can be highly productive, highly sustainable, empower women, create jobs, engage youth, provide greater autonomy, climate resilience, and multiple social, cultural and environmental benefits for women and men in rural and urban communities.
Increasingly, evidence is showing that peasant-based agroecological systems have clear advantages over high external input industrial agriculture. While, historically, there has been a gap between the yields of conventional (high-external-input) agriculture and organic farming, this gap has often been overstated, especially when considering: a) the strong performance of highly developed agroecological farming systems; b) that agroecology produces high yields (especially over time) of a variety of crops, while also generating additional social and environmental benefits. A growing body of research indicates that when appropriately supported and in the right economic conditions, agroecology can outperform conventional systems of agricultural production, especially in dryland areas but also in many other contexts, for example A recent meta-analysis found that alternative agriculture increased yields in 61% of the studies when compared to conventional agriculture, with 20 percent showing no difference. Additionally, the diversification practices used in agroecological practices can reduce or eliminate any yield gap between organic and conventional agriculture.
Despite the urgency and clear benefits of adopting agroecological approaches towards the transformation of food systems, the quality and quantity of finance for agricultural research and development, and food security is woefully inadequate. Globally, there is a shortfall in funding for sustainable food systems, and very little of that is allocated to smallholder farmers. Additionally, almost all of that funding is allocated to encouraging farmers to adopt detrimental forms of high-energy, high-input industrial agriculture. Agroecological approaches are clearly marginalised in existing funding streams, and when they are supported it is often done in unhelpful and even damaging ways.
In its policy brief Agroecology: Scaling Up, Scaling Out, ActionAid identifies key barriers that need to be challenged and seven key steps required to achieve agroecology at scale: ideological barriers, international trade and export orientation, marginalisation of women, monopoly seed laws, lack of agricultural research and development on agroecology and concentration of power amongst agribusiness trans-national coroporations (TNCs).
3.0 What SADC PF and National Parliaments can do
National parliaments play an important oversight role in informing and interrogating the use of national budgetary allocations and foreign contributions towards agricultural development and climate change adaptation.
Already between 2018 and 2021, SADC PF FANR Standing Committee members have considered and acted on issues related to the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security. Among the actions were:
- Successfully proposing a motion at the SADC PF Plenary Assembly in December 2018 urging SADC Member States to accelerate the implementation of the Malabo Declaration, with a focus on improving social accountability in agricultural services for smallholder farmers.
- Passing resolutions in 2020 and 2021 calling on governments and donors to strengthen resilience to buffer ever-increasing climatic shocks, and to challenge the current intensive industrial model of agriculture being supported across the region.
Outside SADC, the Caribbean to the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (PARLATINO) is in the process of developing a Model Law on Agroecology, informed by newly developed FAO guidelines on the development of legal frameworks to promote agroecology in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
- Objectives of the FANR/TIFI Standing Committee Joint Meeting
The FANR/TIFI Standing Committee meeting will specifically seek to achieve the following objectives:
- Review evidence on the potential of agroecological approaches to ensure sustainable and productive agricultural development in the southern African region.
- Assess the level of national and regional investment in SADC on agroecological approaches, and potential opportunities to increase this investment.
- Reflect on national parliament and SADC PF interventions that could contribute towards expanding investment in agroecology in the SADC region.
- Participants and resource persons
The session will draw upon the expertise of resource people from ActionAid, Eastern and Southern Africa Small-Scale Farmers’ Forum, the UN Food and FAO, and the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA). A panel of experienced resource persons will make presentations, followed by an interactive session focusing on possible policy interventions that could be made by SADC PF and national parliaments.
 SADC Synthesis report on the state of food and nutrition security and vulnerability in Southern Africa: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Synthesis-Report-2021_English.pdf
 FAO SOFA Team & Cheryl Doss, (2011). The Role of Women in Agriculture’ ESA Working Paper No. 11-02, FAO. http://www.fao.org/sustainable-food-value-chains/library/details/en/c/265584/; FAO, (2011), 2010-2011 The State of Food and Agriculture. Women in Agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development. http://www.fao.org/publications/sofa/2010-11/en/; ActionAid, (2020), Covid-19 Food Crisis: Monitoring research. https://actionaid.org/publications/2020/covid-19-food-crisis-monitoring-research
 African Centre for Biodiversity (2016). Farm Input Subsidy Programmes (FISPs): A Benefit for, or the Betrayal of, SADC’s Small-Scale Farmers? https://www.acbio.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Input-Subsidies-Report-ACBio.pdf
 African Centre for Biodiversity (2016). Ibid; PSA Alliance (2019) PSA Policy Brief on Social Accountability
of FISPs in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. http://www.copsam.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/SAfAIDS_PSA_PolicyBrief_FISPs_FINAL.pdf
 HLPE (2019), Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition. A report by the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome. http://www.fao.org/3/ca5602en/ca5602en.pdf
 ActionAid International (2018), Agroecology: Scaling up, scaling out. https://actionaid.org/publications/2018/agroecology-scaling-scaling-out.
 IFAD (December 2019), How agroecology can respond to a changing climate and benefit farmers. https://www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/story/asset/41485825 ; FAO (2018), FAO’s work on agroecology: a pathway to the SDGs. http://www.fao.org/3/I9021EN/i9021en.pdf.
 FAO (2018). Ibid.
 IPBES (2019), Summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. https://www.ipbes.net/system/tdf/ipbes_7_10_add.1_en_1.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=35329.
 IPCC (2019), IPCC Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse gas fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems. https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2019/08/Fullreport-1.pdf.
 HLPE (2019).
 ActionAid (2021 – to be published), Shifting Funding to Agroecology for People, Climate and Nature. Written by Colin Anderson and Janneke Bruil; Pretty, J.N., Morison, J.I.L., Hine, R.E. (2003), Reducing food poverty by increasing agricultural sustainability in developing countries. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 95, 217-234. 10.1016/s0167-8809(02)00087-7; Ponisio, L.C., M'Gonigle, L.K., Mace, K.C., Palomino, J., de Valpine, P., Kremen, C. (2015). Diversification practices reduce organic to conventional yield gap. Proc Biol Sci 282, 20141396. 10.1098/rspb.2014.1396.
 Alonso-Fradejas, A., Forero, L.F., Ortega-Espès, D., Drago, M.n., Chandrasekaran, K. (2020), Junk Agroecology. TNI, Friends of the Earth International, Crovevia. https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/38_foei_junk_agroecology_full_report_eng_lr_0.pdf
 Ponisio (2015).
 CIDSE (2021) Policy Briefing – Making Money Move for Agroecology: Transforming Development Aid to Support Agroecology. https://www.cidse.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/EN-Making-money-move-for-agroecology.pdf
 ActionAid (2018).
 FAO (2021), Legislation to promote agroecology in the Latin American and Caribbean region. https://www.fao.org/agroecology/database/detail/en/c/1438599/
Closing remarks by the Chairperson of the SADC PF Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment, Hon. Anele Ndebele, MP02 May 2022
CLOSING REMARKS BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SADC PF STANDING COMMITTEE ON TRADE, INDUSTRY, FINANCE AND INVESTMENT,
HON. ANELE NDEBELE, MP AT THE JOINT MEETING OF THE FANR/TIFI STANDING COMMITTEES HELD UNDER THE THEME ‘EXPANDING INVESTMENT IN AGROECOLOGY IN SOUTHERN AFRICA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE ADAPTATION’
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
SUNDAY, 1ST MAY, 2022
Hon Members, distinguished participants,
I am honoured to address you this afternoon as we come to the close of our session on ‘Expanding Investment in Agroecology in Southern Africa for Sustainable Development and Climate Adaptation. Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to you, Honourable Members, for sparing time to attend this meeting. I also thank you for applying yourselves fully and actively engaging with the resource persons on the important subject of investment in agriculture. This shows your desire and commitment to acquiring the requisite knowledge and skills to enable you contribute positively towards national and regional food security as well as climate adaptation.
To the Secretary General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, I commend you for convening this meeting.
Let me also offer special appreciation to our resource persons who were willing to share with us their vast knowledge and experience on the subject under consideration.
Having concluded all items on our agenda, I am happy to note that we have now gained a deeper understanding of what agroecology is and some of its advantages as compared to the conventional high input and industrialised agricultural system. I am also pleased that the presenters have not only highlighted the many regional and continental commitments towards the agriculture sector, but also the fact that funding to this sector should be adequate and sustainable. This was especially important for us as it will enable us, going forward, to work in our respective jurisdictions and in the context of our legislative mandate towards addressing the food security concerns in the region and our respective countries.
In view of the above, it is gratifying that this session has also reminded us of the important role that we should play to not only ensure increased budgetary allocation towards agroecology, but also promote private sector investment.
Further, I am particularly happy that during this meeting, we had an opportunity to explore how the draft SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management can be used to promote agroecology in our region. It now remains for each one of us to champion the case as advocates within our domestic jurisdictions for the domestication of the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management once adopted by the Plenary Assembly. In this regard, I must pay tribute to the Forum for the initiative of developing the Model Law. Let us work hard so that the SADC Member States can develop domestic legislation that will enable us promote agroecology, especially through the enhancement of the relevant budgetary allocations.
Having said the above, it is now my singular honour to declare the
joint meeting of the SADC Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment officially closed.
I thank you
OPENING REMARKS BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SADC PF STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOOD AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES, HON. ANDREA LEON TUMBA02 May 2022
OPENING REMARKS BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SADC PF STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOOD AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES, HON. ANDREA LEON TUMBA AT THE JOINT MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES ON FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES; AND TRADE, INDUSTRY, FINANCE AND INVESTMENT HELD UNDER THE THEME ‘EXPANDING INVESTMENT IN AGROECOLOGY IN SOUTHERN AFRICA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE ADAPTATION.’
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
SUNDAY, 1ST MAY, 2022
- Honourable Members of the SADC PF Standing Committee on Food Agriculture and Natural Resources;
- The Secretary General of the SADC PF, Ms Boemo Sekgoma;
- Ms Julie Middleton, Project Manager, Consortium for Partnership for Social Accountability;
- Staff from the SADC PF Secretariat;
- Our Distinguished Resource Persons;
- Our Distinguished Participants; and
- Ladies and Gentlemen.
Good afternoon Hon Members and Distinguished guests,
I am pleased to welcome you Honourable Members to this Joint Meeting of the SADC PF Standing Committees on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) and Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (FANR), which is being held under the theme, “Expanding Investment in Agroecology in Southern Africa for Sustainable Development and Climate Adaptation.”
Honourable Members, distinguished participants
Let me begin by stating that agriculture is the cornerstone of human society that provides not only food and nourishment but also employment for millions of people in the SADC region. However, due to the rapidly evolving threats to food and farming systems as a result of climate shocks, it is becoming extremely difficult to be food secure as a region unless we adopt resilient agriculture processes. I am sure that Hon Members can agree with me that the field of agroecology has not been given the primacy it deserves in the SADC region despite it being key in building sustainable food systems. While most SADC Member States do appropriate from their national budgets specific funds towards the agriculture sector, this is not adequate. Therefore, there is a need in our quest to promote agroecology in our region to make deliberate efforts to promote investments in agriculture in general and in particular in agroecology.
Arising from the foregoing, it is important to engage in discussions that encompass both themes of agriculture and investment. Hence this meeting today that is bringing together two committees which are both critical to the subject under discussion.
Honourable Members, distinguished participants
You will agree with me that achieving food security in Southern Africa has remained an elusive goal to date. The SADC Synthesis Report on the State of Food and Nutrition Security and Vulnerability in the Southern Region, reports that up to 47.6 million people, approximately 13 percent of the total population, in SADC region are food insecure.
Even without the effects of climate change, our agricultural systems are not meeting the demands of large numbers of people. Climate change and its effects such as persistent droughts, flooding and pests, coupled with economic challenges, poverty and conflict, have exerted more pressure on already stressed food systems, thereby contributing to the food security crisis in the region.
Further, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity directly and indirectly. The direct impact is linked to farms and food businesses that had to close down due to the pandemic. On the other hand, indirect impacts are linked to lockdowns, border closures and restricted transportation and movement imposed by Governments to curb the spread of the pandemic. Small-scale farmers, who produce most of the SADC region’s food, have been negatively impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking from a gender perspective, it is also worth noting that with the emergence of the COVID-19, the burden of unpaid care work increased for women and girls. In instances were family members were affected by the virus, women had to refocus their attention to look after the children and provide care for the sick. The time spent on care could have been used on farming activities such as food production or selling of farm produce.
Honourable Members, distinguished participants
Given the foregoing, there is a need to adopt innovative approaches that are climate smart and more resilient to severe shocks such as pandemics.
As you may be aware, as a region, several commitments have been made both at continental and regional levels to enhance agriculture. However, failure to implement these commitments remains a huge hindrance to actualising our agriculture vision. In many countries, agroecology is being proposed as a method of not only promoting food security but also significantly contributing to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals as well as the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Honourable Members, distinguished participants
While agroecological systems draw on natural synergies and use locally-available resources, transitioning to this model entails some costs at the outset, and requires support. Meanwhile, smallholders, and particularly women, struggle to access the credit they would need to move beyond subsistence farming. It is, therefore, imperative that investments that are channelled towards agriculture are accompanied by robust mechanisms to prevent any misuse of public resources and reach the intended beneficiaries, especially small-scale farmers.
In this regard, Honourable Members, we have a responsibility, both at national and regional level to ensure that we promote agroecological agricultural systems for sustainable food supply. Through our oversight function, we must interrogate our national budgets and foreign contributions to ensure that they are channeled towards agricultural development and climate change adaption. Further, we should provide effective checks and balances to the executive so that investment towards the sector yields the desired results.
Therefore, I am happy that this Joint meeting has been organised today so that we can interrogate these critical issues.
Honourable Members, distinguished participants
As I conclude, let me take this opportunity to thank our esteemed resource persons who have accepted to engage with us on this subject during our Committee session. I am positive that at the end of the meeting, we will all have a better understanding of agroecology and what we, as parliamentarians, need to do, both at national and regional level to promote agroecology for sustainable food systems. I, therefore, encourage Honourable Members to actively participate and engage our resource persons on these and any related issues in order for this session to be of maximum benefit to us and the SADC region as a whole.
With those few remarks, it is now my honour and privilege to declare this Joint meeting of the Standing Committees on FANR and TIFI officially opened.
I thank you