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Site(s) web :

Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) :
Economic Justice Network :
Trade and Development Studies (TRADES) :
Apartheid Debt and Reparations Campaign :
Panos Southern Africa (PSAf) :
Koordination Südliches Afrika (KOSA) :
Southern African Regional Poverty Network :
Media Institute of Southern Africa :
SADC Peoples Summit :
Southern African Social Forum :
Southern African Trade Union Co-ordination Council - SATUCC :

Reclaiming SADC for Peoples’ Development and Solidarity: Let the People Speak!
SADC People’s Summit 2007

14 August 2007

As the SADC Heads of State met last week at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia, the ordinary peoples of Southern Africa also converged at the In Service Training Trust at the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) under the auspices of the Southern Africa Peoples’ Solidarity Network (SAPSN) to reclaim SADC for peoples’ development and solidarity.

This was the third time since 2000 when the SADC peoples through social movements and civil society organisations organised themselves to claim a peoples’ space within the SADC processes parallel to the elitist annual SADC Heads of State Summit.

In 2000 SAPSN convened the Non-Governmental Conference parallel to the Heads of State Summit in Windhoek, Namibia. This was followed by the People’s Summit held under the theme; ’’Reclaiming SADC for People’s Development: Assessing the Impact of Neoliberal Policies on the Peoples’ Livelihoods’’ in Maseru, 2006. This year the Lusaka Peoples’ Summit will be held under the banner "Reclaiming SADC for Peoples’ Development and Solidarity: Let the People Speak!"

Organisers of the Peoples’ Summit together with their Zambian counterparts under the Jubilee Zambia Network have called on leaders from the SADC region to make regional integration a democratically negotiated process, to serve the development needs and aspirations of all the peoples’ of the region. Currently, regional cooperation is challenged by internal and external resistances to people’s participation. For instance, SADC Peoples’ Summit participants have already been denied space to express their views through a peaceful social march to deliver their resolutions contrary to previous experience in Maseru.

"It is disappointing that in a perceived democracy like Zambia people are denied the right to express themselves to their own leaders through a peaceful social march" says Joy Mabenge, SAPSN Secretary General.

"Our Summit is open to all interested stakeholders as they are people centred and people driven - we hope that this can be emulated by the leaders" he said. The organizers also called on the media institutions to ensure that they proactively and objectively flag out the ordinary peoples’ voices coming out of the deliberations of the Peoples’ Summit.

Read the Voice of the People Newsletter on the link below, a view of what The People said in Lusaka :

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