The Southern Africa Civil Society Forum (CSF) will be hosted for the 12th consecutive year in MBABANE, SWAZILAND FROM 14-18 AUGUST 2016 (inclusive of travel).

 The CSF will be held against the backdrop of increasing challenges facing the SADC region, including democratic deficits, youth unemployment, xenophobia,weakening social protection mechanisms, poor health delivery systems, selfcentred and captured political elite and state, increasing risk of political instabilities and social unrests, climate change, food insecurity, high poverty levels, underdeveloped economies as well as fiscal deficits to sustainably deliver social services to all citizens. The CSF is a platform for civil society to dialogueand reflect on issues affecting the regional community, the Southern AfricaDevelopment Community (SADC), and the constituencies, organisations and movements of civil society at regional and national level.

The 12th CSF must therefore, in the context of the present challenges facing our region, and our experience of the last eleven years, re-define itself more fundamentally and truly as a creative, reflective and action-orientated space for the broad spectrum of civil society formations in the region, including faithbased organisations, trade unions, campaigns, thematic networks, progressive academics and local peoples formations and peoples movements in Southern Africa. The 12th CSF must rise to these challenges, break with the tradition, and honestly champion the interests of the people of the region in speaking and acting truthfully to our present challenges.

The 2016 Civil Society Forum will break from tradition as it will be a platform for civil society to take a step back and reflect on our past achievements and set goals for ourselves on what we can do to make this region a better place for everyone. This year the forum will not target the Summit to take action on our resolutions but will discuss the challenges that the region is facing and take a “regional pledge” as civil society on the strategies and actions we will implement to engender the regional integration and development process.

The 12th Civil Society Forum theme is: “SADC RISING?: Reclaiming our
democracy and citizen’s participation in consolidating regional integration
and development”

The following core issues will be discussed in plenary session:

  1. Review progress on the implementation of the 12th CSF resolutions and commitments;
  2. Review the impact of non-state actors and define the role of Civil Society
    towards the realisation and implementation of institutionalised civil society
    engagement with SADC;
  3. Undertake a deeper and critical analysis of the state of the region and
    member states – progress and challenges regarding implementation and
    realisation of the commitments made, as well as ensuring appropriate and
    responsive strategies to address these;
  4. Address the root causes – governance, socio-economic, cultural, etc –
    contributing to democratic deficits and developmental challenges in the
    SADC member states;

The key thematic sessions for the 12th CSF are:

  • Political situation of the Region
    The session will be underpinned and informed by the SADC commitments and instruments through the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation as outlined in the SIPO strategy document and will discuss the following: Democracy, governance, participation and accountability, SADC civil society engagement mechanism.
  • Economic development
    The session will be underpinned and informed by the SADC commitments and instruments through the Directorate of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) and will discuss the following: Finance for development, industrialisation, extractives, Trade, RISDP.
  • Human and Social Development
    The session will be underpinned and informed by the SADC commitments and instruments through the Directorates of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) and Social and Human Development and Special Projects (SHD&SP) and will discuss the following: Migration and xenophobia, climate change and the drought situation, youth unemployment, gender, RPO and SDGs.

Programme Outline

  1. 1-14 August: Pre-forum events
  2. 15 August: Official Opening, presentation of civil society national reports
    from the 15 countries, Commissions discussing key issues from the
    national reports and the state of the region
  3. 16 August: Report back from commissions on key issues; commissions
    discussing strategies and tactics on addressing the issues; report back
    and development of an action plan for implementing the strategies and
  4. 17 August: Presentation and endorsement of the Action Plan; Stadium
    launch of the Action Plan
  5. 18 August: Departure

For any enquiries regarding the hosting of the forum please contact (+267)
3912982 Rangarirai Machemedze at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and copy
Rose Orapeleng at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or roseorap@sadccngo.

25 April 2016
For and on Behalf of Apex Alliance Partners (FOCCISA, SADC-CNGO and