The Regional Researchers Workshop on the RISDP Mid-term Review is expected to discuss strategies to deepen regional integration and address emerging challenges such as climate change.
“The main purpose of the workshop includes enabling researchers from research institutions in Member States to use their expertise and knowledge to make a direct input into the RISDP review process, and enriching the scope and depth of issues around the implementation of the RISDP,” reads part of a statement released by the workshop organizers.
The Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) is organizing the two-day consultative workshop in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat, supported by the German development agency, GIZ.
The workshop is intended to contribute to the RISDP independent mid-term review process conducted by the Trade and Development Studies Centre (Trades Centre) in Harare.
This independent review follows a desk assessment of the RISDP undertaken by the SADC Secretariat in 2011.
The desk assessment, based on the RISDP Implementation Framework 2005-2010, revealed “satisfactory levels of RISDP implementation” during the five-year period.
The assessment noted that all sectors were able to reach most of the outputs and targets, either fully or partially, within the stated timeframes.
For example, SADC successfully launched its Free Trade Area in 2008, which has improved intra-regional trade by facilitating the movement of goods and services across member countries.
While the desk assessment provided an overview of the implementation status of sectors and targets, the broader independent review is expected to provide a more comprehensive analysis.
The researchers workshop offers an opportunity for key stakeholders and researchers to reflect on the main issues and priorities for the next phase of implementation, such as energy and infrastructure development, climate change, gender equality, food security, and strengthening intra-regional trade.
The workshop on 9-10 May is expected to contribute towards strengthening a regional agenda appropriate for the 21st century, providing a policy, legal and institutional framework for decision-makers that can address fundamental development challenges such as employment, poverty and inequality.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Regional Integration and International Cooperation in Zimbabwe, Tadeus Chifamba, is expected to open the workshop to be attended by some 35 researchers and experts from across the SADC region.
Southern African News Features, 12 May 2013