Johannesburg, South Africa – AWEPA and the Parliamentary Forum of the South African Development Community (SADC-PF) organised a regional parliamentary seminar in Johannesburg from December 2-4 to address the need of enhancing SADC parliamentary participation in development effectiveness and in the shaping of the post-2015 development agenda.
Over 60 participants were in attendance, including parliamentary Members and staff from eleven Southern African and three European countries. The aim of the seminar was to stimulate engagement amongst SADC parliaments and parliamentarians, and to encourage constructive dialogue over development effectiveness, with a particular emphasis on priority setting and policy oversight. The seminar opened with a welcome address from Minister of State of Belgium and AWEPA President, Ms. Miet Smet and, on behalf of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, Nyeleti Mondlane, Member of the Mozambican Parliament. Furthermore, Her Excellency Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu, Special Advisor on International Relations to the President of South Africa and Lord David Chidgey, Member of the House of Lords (UK) and Political Coordinator for the AWEPA Aid Effectiveness Programme, provided keynote addresses. Importance was placed on the vision, reflection and strong participation of parliamentarians in the development context.
The seminar provided a space for debate on the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of development, the quality of parliamentary oversight at the national level, and the diverse partnerships required of legislatures in this dynamic context. Discussions resulted in the formulation and adoption of a SADC Regional Statement on enhancing parliamentary engagement in the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), to be tabled at the upcoming GPEDC Ministerial meeting, set to take place in April, 2014 in Mexico.