SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and Vision 2050

GABORONE,The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a 16-member regional grouping aimed at transforming the livelihoods of the more than 360 million peoples of the Region through various economic, social and human development programmes.
For these development efforts to bear fruit, there must be peace and security throughout the Region and this is one of the key priorities of SADC. The Region has come up with development strategies aimed at ensuring that its goals are met, namely the Regional Strategic Indicative Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and Vision 2050.

SADC has evolved from being a coordinating conference into an active regional development community, making it a key building block of African unity through the African Union (AU). RISDP 2020–2030 is a successor to the previous RISDP which was a comprehensive 15-year strategic roadmap which provided the strategic direction for achieving SADC’s long-term social and economic goals.

The previous RISDP provided the SADC Secretariat and other SADC institutions with clear guidelines on SADC’s approved social and economic priorities and policies and therefore, enhanced their effectiveness in discharging their facilitating and coordinating role. It was approved by SADC Summit in 2003 and its effective implementation began in 2005. RISDP 2020-2030 is a 10-year strategic plan and a culmination of a long and intensive process that began in June 2012, following a decision by Member States to develop SADC Vision 2050.

RISDP 2020-2030 is indicative in nature, provides direction and outlines the required conditions that need to be in place for the Region to achieve its regional integration and development agenda.

Despite not being prescriptive, RISDP 2020-2030 remains the reference point for all SADC Member States, and their ownership of the strategy is paramount if SADC is to achieve the levels of regional coordination and integration to which the organisation’s Vision 2050 aspires.

RISDP 2020-2050 provides a guiding framework for the implementation of SADC’s regional integration and developmental agenda and programmes for the next 10 years. It is the product of consultative processes involving key stakeholders from Member States, including the private sector, civil society, research institutions, and think-tanks, as well as international cooperating partners (ICPs).

The decision to include peace, security, and governance matters in RISDP 2020–2030 is an innovation, as previously peace and security matters were addressed only in the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (SIPO). The SIPO, previously seen as a complementary document to the previous RISDP, has now been incorporated into RISDP 2020–2030, as the required foundation for ensuring that the preconditions necessary for achieving the other priorities are maintained.

RISDP 2020–2030 covers six strategic priority areas namely:

1. The Foundation: Peace, Security, and Good Governance;

2. Pillar I: Industrial Development and Market Integration;

3. Pillar II: Infrastructure Development in Support of Regional Integration;

4. Pillar III: Social and Human Capital Development;

5. Cross-cutting issues including Gender, Youth, Environment and Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management; and

6. Strategic Management of RISDP 2020–2030.

In each of these priority areas, the RISDP 2020-2050 provides strategic guidance in the form of actions, interventions, targets, and timelines that, if implemented and met, will further deepen integration in SADC.

The priority area of Strategic Management of RISDP 2020–2030 is important as it is an acknowledgement that SADC needs to make some fundamental changes if the Community is to achieve its regional integration agenda. This priority area is closely linked to, and informed by, the Comprehensive Institutional Review of SADC that was carried out parallel to the development of the RISDP.

Given that SADC is part of the international community, in a global context, the attainment of the organisation’s plans cannot be determined entirely by what it alone does. In many instances, the Community has found itself adjusting its plans in response to external influences.

The most recent external factor has been the global COVID-19 pandemic that has put immense strain on SADC economies and healthcare systems, and will continue to do so for some time.

Many of SADC’s economic and development plans will have to be put on hold, re-prioritised, or amended, while efforts and resources are being diverted to address the negative effects of this crisis.

The pandemic has shown, however, just how interconnected and interdependent the SADC Region is, and accordingly, it has highlighted the importance of a regional and coordinated approach and response to such crises, further emphasising the need for regional communities – such as SADC and its institutions.

View full publication of the RISDP 2020–2030:SADC Vision 2050 and RISDP 2020-2030

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