1.0 INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT
1.1 Regional Economic Outlook
Currently, the global economy is experiencing a significant downturn, with growth dropping from 6.3 percent in 2021 to 3.4 percent in 2022. This slowdown is evident across advanced economies, emerging markets and developing economies, largely due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has caused disruptions in supply chains, high inflation, and stringent financial conditions. This trend of moderate global growth is expected in 2023. Likewise, the SADC region is facing subdued growth, with an average of 4.8 percent, well below the targeted 7 percent for 2022. Out of all the 16 Member States, only DRC, Mauritius and Seychelles managed to achieve the target. Regrettably, every Member State that managed to meet the target in 2021 was unable to reach the threshold in 2022. Public debt levels are on the rise in the region, with most Member States failing to achieve the regional target of 60 percent of public debt in 2022. This situation puts the region at risk of debt distress. High debt levels entail high debt service costs, which, in turn constrain the resources available for supporting development and sustainable long-term growth for macroeconomic expansion. As countries work towards post-COVID-19 recovery, it is crucial for Parliaments to actively engage and advocate for inclusive economic policies. These policies should prioritise the inclusion of women, children, and individuals with disabilities while also strengthening community resilience.
1.2 Extractive Sector Governance and Climate Change
On the extractive front, as the global drive towards net zero emissions accelerates, the demand for renewable energies has led to heightened exploitation of mineral resources in Southern Africa. Minerals like lithium, cobalt, and copper have become essential for manufacturing batteries and green technologies, driving decarbonisation in energy and transportation sectors. The region holds a substantial share of these critical minerals: the DRC produces around 70% of the world's cobalt, South Africa boasts the largest manganese reserves, Mozambique holds significant graphite shares and Zimbabwe possesses Africa's largest lithium deposits. It is imperative for the region to harness the potential of these transitional minerals and maximise their benefits for the well-being of citizens and meaningful contributions to SADC Vision 2050, Africa's Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This requires enhanced accountability, including a thorough examination of the human rights implications stemming from mining projects, ensuring that their rights are upheld and protected. The accountability also extends to implementing comprehensive solutions across the entire transitional minerals value chain and managing all stages of mineral extraction, processing, refining and utilisation, as well as to preventing perpetual revenue leakages and violations of community rights. In the end, there is need to establish a holistic approach that maximises the economic benefits derived from these critical minerals and safeguards the rights and interests of the communities directly impacted by these activities. Parliaments must leverage their constitutional mandate to make laws, oversee government, represent citizens and budget allocation and oversight to ensure accountability in the extractive sector, including protecting the environment and uphold community and human rights.
1.3 Youth Participation and Representation
The prominence of youth-related challenges in the region is underscored by a substantial youthful population, limited economic prospects, and restricted involvement in political and decision-making arenas. The region boasts a significant youth demographic as around 75% of the SADC population consists of persons below the age of 35 while youth aged 15 to 35 constitute about 34% of the overall population in the region. However, despite this potential demographic dividend, youth in the region encounter considerable obstacles to securing viable economic prospects. The youth unemployment rate averages around 20%, significantly surpassing the overall unemployment rate (ILO, 2021). Young people's active participation in political processes and decision-making remains limited.
In many SADC countries, youth representation in legislative bodies and leadership roles is notably low. Only around 2% of parliamentarians across the region are under the age of 30 (UNDP, 2021). Addressing these challenges requires fostering youth participation in political, decision-making, and socio-economic development through comprehensive strategies. This involves establishing consistent policies to generate high-quality employment opportunities, nurturing youth entrepreneurship and facilitating meaningful engagement in governance and policy formulation. Additionally, it's essential to confront issues such as early marriages and the realisation of sexual and reproductive health rights. Parliament plays a crucial role in empowering youth in politics by providing opportunities for their voices to be heard, supporting civic education and addressing their needs through legislation. The legislature should also create an inclusive environment for young leaders by assisting their candidacy, offering mentoring and providing resources to shape the region's future, ultimately contributing to a more representative democracy.
1.4 Gender Equality
Gender equality is a fundamental goal for democratic societies, crucially recognised in the SADC region. The commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment is integral to the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 which identifies gender as a crosscutting and key factor for integration and development. The RISDP underscores the significance of achieving balanced representation for both men and women across all sectors of society. Consequently, it calls for ongoing advancement towards the realisation of substantial equality in opportunities between women and men.
Despite recent strides, the SADC region continues to face challenges in achieving full gender equality in its electoral processes. Women who constitute over half the population and electorate, remain underrepresented in political and public decision-making positions across the region. The SADC Gender and Development Monitor 2022 confirms the women's underrepresentation and highlights the influence of electoral systems in women's political representation and participation. Research indicates that electoral systems incorporating Proportional Representation (PR) and mixed systems are more effective in advancing women's representation compared to the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) system.
Parliament plays a crucial role in promoting gender equality and women's representation in political and decision-making positions by enacting and enforcing policies and legislation that advance women's rights and participation. This involves implementing affirmative action measures, fostering women's political leadership through mentoring, and creating an inclusive political environment that encourages women's engagement. Moreover, Parliament serves as a platform for advocating gender-sensitive policies and ensures active inclusion of women's voices and perspectives in decision-making, acting as a catalyst for enhancing gender equality and women's representation in the region's political landscape.
1.5 Regional Food and Nutrition Security and Disaster Risk
The region continue to experience climate change-induced droughts and cyclones with severe impact on food and nutrition sufficiency. During the 2022/2023 rainfall season, many areas in the region experienced below-average precipitation. In fact, certain regions, including southern Angola, northern Botswana, northern Namibia, southwestern Zambia, and northeastern Madagascar, witnessed one of the driest seasons since 1981. Overall, most Member States encountered erratic rainfall patterns. Some Member States have experienced tropical storms and cyclones which brought heavy rains and flooding, causing extensive destruction of infrastructure, disruption of water and sanitation systems, negatively impacted agricultural production and resulted in injury and deaths. Concurrently, some countries of the region have also experienced outbreaks of African red migratory locust, which led to the destruction of thousands of hectares of grazing land and crop fields.
Parliament should enact and oversee policies and legislation related to agriculture, food production, and disaster preparedness. It should allocate adequate resources for agricultural development, monitor food production and distribution and implement measures to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on food systems. Additionally, Parliament should serve as a platform for advocating policies that address food insecurity, promote nutrition and strengthen disaster resilience in the SADC region.
Human and social development in Southern Africa continues to be severely mitigated by education constraints at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. It is trite that the aspirations set out in the Sustainable Agenda 2030, the SADC Vision 2050 or Africa Agenda 2063 require skilled African labour which is hinged on quality education which is universally accessible to all. Widespread discrimination between girls and boys, child marriage and betrothals, early and unintended pregnancies and child labour continue to be the main impediments that hinder girl education in Southern Africa. More recently, climate disasters in the form of cyclone or severe droughts have also caused significant school dropouts in affected regions. Against this background, poverty continues to be an overarching theme which draws children out of school.
The right to education is further encroached by lack of logistics and infrastructure to dispense basic education. Insufficient admission seats in schools, lack of teachers and inadequate teaching facilities threatens to render African education obsolete and uncompetitive with current world standards. While brain drain channels the elite of Africa outside the continent, those who stay to become professionals tend to prefer ICT jobs or more trendy vocations rather than become teachers. If the education sector is generally undermined, this further impacts on smart education agendas which call for life skills learning that includes comprehensive sexuality education, stress management, and health education which is crucial to prevent malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS. While Asia and Latin America are developing innovative education practices and are catching up quickly with North America and Europe, Africa may be the only continent that is strongly lacking behind in its education agenda.
It is faced with this realisation that the African Union has chosen Education as its 2024 theme and is coming forward with a Roadmap for Education to incentivise Member States to implement prompt measures that may eliminate the root causes that hinder education at all levels.
Since Parliaments are agents of change, it is thus imperative that the enhancement of the education system and its current bottlenecks are discussed at parliamentary level so that Member States can feed the information generated into further discussions at SADC-PF and AU level.
1.7 Peace, Security and Good Governance
While the political and security situation in the region remains relatively stable, there are several threats to peace and stability. These include intra-state tensions, terrorism, violent extremism, food and energy insecurity, natural disasters, and pandemics, among other challenges. DRC and Mozambique are experiencing acts of terrorism and violent extremism which are not only disrupting peace and security but are also resulting in loss of life and internal displacement. Of greater concern is the fact that the prevalence of poverty, inequality, and unemployment in the communities affected by terrorism, along with a general lack of development, are being exploited by terrorist groups to garner local support. This complicates efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism. The island states, namely Madagascar, Seychelles and Comoros, along with Mozambique, have consistently faced the threat of piracy from criminals operating off the eastern coast of Africa, especially within the western Indian Ocean. This situation places additional pressure on these nations to intensify their naval patrols and implement more security measures, in addition to joining international efforts to address the root causes of piracy.
On the governance front, while strong public institutions are essential for democratic accountability, recent evidence, such as the Afrobarometer survey from 2021, unfortunately indicates a disconcerting trend of declining public trust in these institutions and in public leaders. This can be attributed to their failure to effectively combat corruption and ensure accountability. In 2022, a study conducted by SADC PF on the separation of powers and checks and balances in the region revealed that, although the legal frameworks of countries generally recognised the concept of separation of powers, in practice, parliaments often exhibited weaknesses and tended to be subservient to the executive.
Concerns have also been raised about a democratic deficit in the institutional mechanisms for safeguarding human rights. Consequently, there is a growing consensus on the necessity to strengthen the role of parliaments in this context. Although SADC PF has adopted the Principles and Guidelines for Parliaments in Promoting Human Rights in the SADC region , there remains a significant amount of work for parliaments to undertake in establishing the required structures and processes to prioritise human rights in their legislative and oversight functions.
2.0PUBLIC HEARING SESSION AS A PLATFORM TO BRIDGE THE ENGAGEMENT GAP AND AMPLIFY CITIZENS' VOICES IN REGIONAL INTEGRATION
In view of bridging the gap between citizens and regional integration processes and in accordance with its founding values, the SADC PF has consistently focused its efforts on bridging the gap between citizens and the regional integration process by engaging parliamentarians as the people's elected representatives. SADC PF successfully conducted its inaugural public hearing session for its Standing Committees from 25 th to 29 th November 2022, under the theme: CONSOLIDATING DEMOCRACY BY BRINGING PARLIAMENT TO THE PEOPLE. The session proved to be very popular among citizens of the region as it offered them an opportunity to express their views on critical issues that are essential for addressing the daily challenges they face.
SADC PF will build on the success of the inaugural public hearing session by hosting a second public hearing session for its Standing Committees under the theme: AMPLIFYING CITIZENS' VOICES IN REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA: BRIDGING THE ENGAGEMENT GAP BY BRINGING PARLIAMENT TO THE PEOPLE. This is in line with its policy decision that one of the two annual Committee Sessions should be a public hearing session in order to give citizens a platform to voice their opinions on regional issues of interest and concern on a regular basis. The public hearings session for Standing Committees will take place ahead of the SADC PF 54 th Plenary Assembly Session to be held in November/December 2023.
Conducting public hearings is in line with the fundamental principles of democracy, which emphasise the importance of safeguarding the expression of the people's will through their elected representatives. Parliamentarians must bear the responsibility of engaging citizens consistently during their tenure to foster harmony, promote public satisfaction and prevent disruptions to peace, legal order and social stability.
For SADC PF, public hearings represent a strategic opportunity to amplify citizens' voices in the regional integration process. This is critical as it promotes inclusivity and reinforces democratic values. Given that regional integration significantly impacts citizens, it becomes imperative to consider their perspectives. Conducting these hearings virtually serves to overcome geographical barriers, enabling citizens from various countries and backgrounds to participate actively. Such inclusivity aligns with democratic principles and ensures that regional policies reflect the diverse populations within the SADC region.
Another crucial role of public hearings is to enhance transparency and accountability regarding regional and international commitments. Bringing Parliament to the people through virtual public hearings creates an open and transparent channel for citizens to engage with their elected representatives. This transparency strengthens trust in the regional integration process, as citizens can directly make submission and witness firsthand as parliamentarians discuss, debate and make recommendations. Furthermore, the public hearings hold lawmakers accountable for their actions and decisions, as citizens have a direct platform to voice concerns, seek clarifications, and demand accountability from and through their representatives. This promotes a culture of responsiveness to the needs and concerns of the public, which strengthens the democratic process and reinforces the bond between citizens and their government.
Public hearings also play a crucial role in promoting informed decision-making. Regional integration is inherently complex, with wide-ranging implications. By actively involving citizens in these hearings, the SADC PF ensures that people are well-informed about regional issues, including aspects such as the benefits and challenges of implementing model laws and other regional commitments. The more informed citizens are, the better equipped they become to provide constructive input and demand accountability. This, in turn, contributes to the development of more effective regional integration policies and agreements.
Another critical value of public hearings is their contribution to conflict prevention and resolution. When citizens are denied the chance to express their views or voice dissatisfaction, frustration can build. Public hearings offer a peaceful and organised platform for citizens to be heard and for addressing any concerns they may have. This process allows grievances to be aired and resolved through constructive dialogue, thereby reducing the likelihood of conflicts that could otherwise arise due to misunderstandings or unaddressed concerns. Public hearings also help to foster regional identity and solidarity.
As the SADC PF is in the process of evolving into a consultative and deliberative SADC Regional Parliament, public hearings present an opportunity to enhance citizen participation. Standing Committees provide the ideal platform for conducting these public hearings across various thematic areas.
3.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE PUBLIC HEARING SESSION
The objectives of the public hearing session are as follows:
(i) Uphold the fundamental principles of democracy by creating a platform for citizens to freely express their views, allowing SADC PF Standing Committees to collect submissions and feedback from citizens, stakeholders and experts regarding thematic issues and policies;
(ii) Foster inclusivity in governance by ensuring that the voices of a diverse range of stakeholders, including marginalized and underrepresented groups, are heard and considered in regional processes;
(iii) Enhance citizen engagement and amplify citizens' voices in the regional integration process by providing a platform for citizens to submit their input, voice concerns, ask questions, seek clarification, and make recommendations on matters of regional significance;
(iv) Promote transparency and accountability in the domestication of regional and international commitments by establishing an open and transparent channel for citizens to engage with parliamentarians;
(v) Contribute to conflict prevention and resolution by providing citizens with a peaceful and organised platform to voice their concerns and grievances; and
(vi) Cultivate a sense of regional identity and solidarity among SADC citizens.
4.0 SCOPE AND FOCUS
The SADC PF plays a vital role in facilitating regional cooperation, integration, and development within the SADC region. This role pertains to connecting citizens with various regional and international development frameworks, including the SADC Common Agenda outlined in Article 5A of the SADC Treaty, SADC Vision 2050, the RISDP 2020-2030, Africa Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
To assist member states in adhering to these commitments, the SADC PF has taken proactive steps by developing a range of model laws and reference instruments. These resources serve as valuable tools to guide member states in the process of incorporating regional and international commitments into their national legal frameworks. Despite these efforts, substantial challenges continue to persist, primarily revolving around the slow pace of domestication and the subsequent implementation of these model laws and regional commitments. This is due to various factors including bureaucratic complexities within member states, limited capacity and resources for effectively translating regional agreements into national laws, and sometimes, political and administrative bottlenecks that impede the smooth adoption of these commitments. As a result, the full potential of these model laws and regional commitments to drive regional cooperation and integration remains untapped.
Recognising these challenges is essential as it highlights the need for concerted efforts to overcome them. The public hearing session provides a valuable opportunity to gather insights, perspectives and recommendations from citizens, stakeholders, and experts. These inputs are critical for understanding the intricacies of the current situation, identifying barriers to progress and formulating actionable strategies to expedite the domestication and effective implementation of model laws and regional commitments.
5.0 PARTICIPANTS AND STAKEHOLDERS
The participants and stakeholders for the public hearing session will include diverse individual citizens and groups who have a keen interest in and expertise related to the various issues and topics being discussed by the different Standing Committees. Interpretation services in English, French, and Portuguese will be available in accordance with the language policy to broaden linguistic reach.
The following are the participants and stakeholders for the session:
(i) Members of Parliament (MPs) and Staff of Parliaments
SADC PF Standing Committees and the Regional Women's Parliamentary Caucus will engage citizens, stakeholders and experts during public hearings. SADC PF Member Parliaments can facilitate their MPs who are not Members of SADC PF to attend as observers in line with the Rules of Procedure. Parliamentary staff are also welcome to attend.
(ii) The General Citizenry
Open invitations will be extended to the general citizenry to participate in the public hearing session in order to allow citizens to voice their opinions and concerns directly.
(iii) Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
CSOs and advocacy groups with expertise and interests in relevant topics will attend the public hearing session and provide valuable insights and recommendations. A diverse attendance of groups will enhance discussions, recommendations and outcomes and contribute to the session's success.
(iv) Academics and Experts
Scholars, researchers and subject matter experts can contribute their knowledge and expertise during the public hearings.
(v) Community Leaders
Leaders from various communities within the SADC region may be invited to ensure that grassroots perspectives are included in the discussions.
(vi) Private Sector Representatives
Representatives from businesses and industries will be invited to attend in view of their important contribution to the region's industrial and economic development.
(vii) Regional and International Organisations
UN agencies, along with other international and regional organisations, will participate in the public hearings and interact with the Standing Committees to discuss the domestication of regional agreements and linkages with international development goals.
(viii) Marginalised and Vulnerable Groups
Efforts will be made to ensure the participation of marginalised and vulnerable groups, including women, youth and persons with disabilities, to ensure that their voices are heard and considered.
Media organisations will be crucial in reporting on the public hearing session, helping to raise awareness and disseminate information about the discussions.
(x) Development Partners
International development agencies and donor organisations that support regional development initiatives will also participate in the session.
The methodology for conducting the virtual public hearing session by SADC PF Standing Committees is deliberately structured to facilitate meaningful engagement between MPs and a diverse array of stakeholders. A broad spectrum of topics on regional issues has been selected, aligning with regional development frameworks that are in harmony with continental and international standards, as well as the mandates of the various Committees.
To ensure diversity and inclusivity, the public hearings will be widely publicised through various channels to ensure that citizens, groups and stakeholders are aware of the opportunity to participate and make their voices heard.
Registration is open to all interested parties who will have a chance to submit their contributions, whether in the form of research papers, policy recommendations or position statements. The virtual format of the session makes it possible for SADC PF not to place a limit to the number of participants allowed to take part during the meetings.
Registration is open to all interested parties, providing them with the opportunity to submit their contributions in various formats, including lived experiences, research papers, policy recommendations or position statements. The virtual format of the session allows SADC PF not to impose a limit on the number of participants allowed to join the meetings.
Each presenter will be allotted a maximum of 10 minutes to deliver their submission. To be admissible, submissions must be received by 28 th September 2023 via the following email addresses: and cc. .
Each submission should clearly specify the relevant Standing Committee and the specific issue or issues it addresses. It is acceptable to make multiple submissions covering different issues to various Standing Committees. A submission should not exceed 2 pages and must be written in Word using the Bookman Old Style font, size 12. Early submission is essential to ensure timely translation into the official languages.
Presenters will be informed of their allocated time slot. Furthermore, presenters must provide their WhatsApp number to facilitate effective communication and coordination.
After the public hearings, proceedings will be meticulously documented, and each Standing Committee will submit its report to the 54 th Plenary Assembly Session to be held in November/December 2023.
The SADC PF Secretariat will also analyse all the submissions to identify common themes and recommendations and use them to inform future programming priorities and actions.
7.0 EXPECTED OUTCOMES
The expected outcomes of the public hearing session are as follows:
(i) Upholding of the fundamental principles of democracy of creating a platform for citizens to freely express their views to the SADC PF Standing Committees through submissions and feedback on thematic issues and policies.
(ii) Fostered inclusivity in governance by ensuring that the voices of a diverse range of stakeholders, including marginalised and underrepresented groups, are heard and considered in regional processes.
(iii) Enhanced citizen engagement and amplified citizens' voices in the regional integration process by providing a platform for citizens to submit their input, voice concerns, ask questions, seek clarification, and make recommendations on matters of regional significance.
(iv) Enhanced promotion of transparency and accountability in the domestication of regional and international commitments by establishing an open and transparent channel for citizens to engage with parliamentarians.
(v) Enhanced conflict prevention and resolution capacity by providing citizens with a peaceful and organised platform to voice their concerns and grievances.
(vi) Strengthened regional identity and solidarity among SADC citizens through regional cohesion and cooperation.
8.0 AGENDAS AND TOPICS FOR EACH STANDING COMMITTEE
The virtual public hearings will cover a range of topics aligned with the key focus areas of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Plan 2020-2030 and the mandates of the various Standing Committees. Below is a list of thematic content (enunciative only and non-limited) which may be dealt with by each Standing Parliamentary Committee depending on the nature of concerns raised by citizens:
a. Regional Women Parliamentary Caucus
1. How can parliamentary institutions enhance their structures and policies to become more gender-sensitive and inclusive, ensuring that women's voices and perspectives are effectively integrated into legislative processes and decision-making?
2. How can regional policies and initiatives be leveraged to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women in education, economic participation, and political representation?
3. What challenges and opportunities exist for improving women's access to quality healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health services in the region?
4. What strategies can be implemented to increase women's participation and representation in political decision-making processes, including electoral systems and quotas?
5. How can barriers to girls and women's education and skills development be overcome to ensure they have equal access to educational opportunities?
6. What unique challenges do rural women face and how can the digital gender gaps be bridged?
7. How can the region better recognise and address the intersecting forms of discrimination and inequality that affect women?CONCEPT NOTE - PUBLIC HEARING SESSION FOR SADC PF STANDING COMMITTEES
b. Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development
1. How the domestication of the SADC Model Law on Gender-Based Violence at the national level be expedited and what concrete steps can be taken to proactively prevent gender-based violence in communities and ensure comprehensive support and justice for survivors?
2. How can regional and continental economic policies, including the AfCFTA, be harnessed to promote women and youth's economic inclusion, entrepreneurship, access to financial resources and close the gender pay gap for marginalised women, young girls, and youth?
3. How can opportunities for youth development and empowerment be enhanced, including access to education, employment, and leadership roles, while ensuring gender equality and inclusivity?
4. What strategies can be adopted to increase youth political participation and representation in decision-making bodies, and what role can youth play in advocating for gender equity in politics?
5. What challenges exist in ensuring women and youth have equitable access to quality healthcare, including SRH services and what solutions can be explored?
6. How can barriers to education and skills development for young girls and women be eliminated to ensure that they have equal access to educational opportunities?
7. What mechanisms can be put in place to ensure that national budgets are gender-responsive, addressing the specific needs and rights of women and youth?
8. How can the intersecting forms of discrimination and inequality faced by women and youth, particularly those from marginalised backgrounds. be better recognised and addressed in policies and programmes?
c. Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes
1. How can Parliament collaborate with relevant stakeholders to address gender discrimination in Southern African education, including child marriage and child labour that affect girls' access to education?
2. What strategies can be implemented to mitigate the impact of climate disasters, such as cyclones and severe droughts, on school dropouts in affected regions, and how can Parliament support these initiatives?
3. What measures can Parliament propose to alleviate poverty as a primary factor drawing children out of school, particularly in regions with high poverty rates?
4. How can Parliament address the lack of logistics and infrastructure affecting basic education in the region, including issues like insufficient admission seats, teacher shortages, and inadequate teaching facilities?
5. What strategies can be employed to attract and retain skilled professionals in the education sector, including teachers, to ensure the quality and competitiveness of African education?
6. How can Parliament contribute to the promotion of smart education agendas, including life skills learning such as comprehensive sexuality education, stress management, and health education, especially in the context of preventing diseases like malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS?
7. What lessons can be learned from innovative education practices in other regions like Asia and Latin America, and how can these practices be adapted to improve education in Southern Africa?
8. How can Parliament actively engage with the African Union's 2024 theme of Education and its Roadmap for Education to incentivise Member States to implement measures aimed at eliminating the root causes hindering education at all levels?
d. Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights
1. How can regional initiatives and policies better support women's active and meaningful participation in peace and security and what specific measures are needed to ensure their protection and inclusion in conflict resolution?
2. What regional initiatives and collaborative efforts can enhance peace and security in the SADC region given recent developments and emerging threats?
3. What steps can Parliaments take to support the implementation of the SADC Regional Counter Terrorism Strategy?
4. How can SADC Member States collectively address terrorism and violent extremism and promote regional stability and what strategies should be employed to prevent radicalisation and promote regional stability?
5. What measures and policies can be implemented to protect and include persons with albinism, combat discrimination, and violence against them?
6. What steps are needed to strengthen democratic institutions, promote the rule of and ensure transparency and accountability?
7. How can Member States expedite the domestication and implementation of the SADC Model Law on Elections for inclusive and credible electoral processes and outcomes?
8. How can intra-state conflicts be prevented and resolved and what measures can be taken to strengthen regional mechanisms for peaceful dispute resolution?
9. What strategies can be undertaken to promote human rights and how can SADC countries collaborate to uphold these rights?
10. How can CSOs play a more active and constructive role in advancing democracy, human rights, and good governance within the SADC region?
e. Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment
1. How can vulnerable groups be cushioned amidst the regional economic slowdown?
2. How has the Russia-Ukraine conflict affected trade and investment in the SADC region, and what strategies can mitigate its impact?
3. How should SADC states manage rising debt and ensure fiscal sustainability?
4. How can SADC countries create inclusive economic policies that benefit all citizens and promote equitable economic growth?
5. In the face of economic shocks and what strategies can be employed to build economic resilience and ensure the stability of regional economies?
6. What steps are needed to expedite the domestication and effective implementation of the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management by Member States for transparency and accountability in public finances?
7. How can cross-border trading within SADC be streamlined to promote economic integration and the growth of small-scale and informal businesses?
8. How can the benefits of public and private infrastructure projects be maximised to facilitate access to essential services and economic opportunities for citizens?
9. How countries attract investments for regional economic growth and job creation?
f. Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources
1. What can countries enhance their preparedness and response strategies to address the growing threat of climate change-induced droughts and flooding on food security and nutrition?
2. In light of recent tropical cyclones, what measures should be taken to enhance resilience in communities in terms of infrastructure and protecting human life and livelihoods?
3. What strategies can be employed to secure sustainable climate financing for adaptation and mitigation efforts, and how can these funds be effectively utilised?
4. What specific adaptation and mitigation measures must be prioritised for building resilience to climate change impacts in the region?
5. How can parliaments assume a more robust role in responding to climate-related crises and ensuring prompt, coordinated actions?"
6. What strategies can be employed to prevent the disruption of clean water supply and sanitation in communities susceptible to cyclones to curb the spread of waterborne diseases?
7. How can SADC countries collectively address the threat posed by African migratory locusts and their impact on food security and grazing land?
8. What steps should SADC Member States take to maximise the sustainable exploitation of transitional minerals, ensuring economic benefits and environmental protection?
9. How can SADC Member States enhance the protection and promotion of women's access to land and their land rights within the region?
10. What measures can be implemented to safeguard human and community rights and protect the environment while promoting gender justice in mining communities in the region?
9.0 PROGRAMME, DATE AND TIME
The public hearings are scheduled to take place virtually on Zoom from 11 th to 18 th as outlined in the program below. Each Committee will convene from 09:00 to 10:30 to consider internal matters and prepare for the public hearings. The public hearing session will officially commence at 11:00 and conclude at 16:30, with designated breaks for health and lunch. There will be one Committee per day to ensure maximum participation by the citizens and stakeholders.
Regional Women's Parliamentary Caucus
Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development
Human and Social Development & Special Programmes
Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights
Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment
Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources