Southern Africa researchers meet

Researchers from southern Africa are meeting in Zimbabwe to contribute to the mid-term review of the SADC’s regional development plan.
The 15-year plan was approved by member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2003 as a blueprint for regional integration and development, and was launched in 2004.
The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) is being implemented in five-year phases that commenced in 2005, providing policy direction to SADC programmes and activities as well as aligning the strategic objectives and priorities of the region with its long-term goals.
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.
The workshop will starts tomorrow until Friday and is aimed at offering opportunity to stakeholders and researchers to reflect on issues such as energy and infrastructure development, climate change, gender equality.
The workshop will also focus on food security and strengthening intra regional trade, employment, poverty and inequality
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 time-frames.
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. Contributed by SADC