CRIDOC Makes Solidarity Speech at 2016 SADC Peoples Summit

A peaceful march in Swaziland demanding greater respect of human rights. CREDIT:

CRIDOC at SADC Peoples Summit

Child Rights Activist and Youth Act Alliance Coordinator, Edward Phiri, gave a solidarity speech on behalf of Malawi delegation during the 2016 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Peoples’ Summit in Manzini, Swaziland.

Edward’s speech centered on ending child marriages in accordance with SADC model law; youth employment and empowerment based on the African Youth Charter; and the African Union Youth Decade Plan of Action, including tax justice.

Edward, who is also Executive Director of the Child Rights Information and Documentation Centre (CRIDOC), further called on the Peoples Summit to ensure that issues of youth and children are prominently featured in the communique as a sub-theme.

“We need to ensure that the summit also develops road map for easy follow up of issues other than coming with new issues as the 2015 issues remains unsolved,” he advised.

The youth representative was invited to be a panelist at ZIMRIGHTS break away session on Governance.

Held under the theme "A peoples driven SADC committed to total liberation for all," the 2016 SADC Peoples Summit was attended by more than two thousands representatives of the people of southern Africa, members and affiliates of various Social Movements, Trade Unions, Economic Justice, Human Rights, and Environmental Networks, Feminists, Women and Youth collectives, Non-Governmental Organisations, individual activists, students and academics.

The SADC Peoples’ Summit aimed to dialogue and envision a better SADC for all, by exchanging views, struggles, experiences, dreams and love.


After 4 days of discussions at the Manzini Peoples´ Summit, the following is a Communiqué of the deliberations, recommendations and demands made in the Communique:

Democracy and Good GovernanceWe have identified five countries that need to be urgently dealt with:


  • SADC must force Lesotho to implement the SADC Phumaphi commission of inquiry resolution in solving the Lesotho crisis;
  • The detained soldiers of Lesotho must be released from maximum prison;
  • SADC to ensure that no one is above the law in Lesotho and strengthen democracy, rule of law and media pluralism;
  • Wives of the detained soldiers in Lesotho with the assistance of other countries should start campaign demanding the release of the detained soldiers.


  • We call for an immediate end of war in Central and Northern Mozambique;
  • President Nyusi must use his constitutional power to stop military operations and meet RENAMO´s leader urgently in order to reach a perennial peace agreement;
  • Stop the assassination and kidnapping of activists, academics and members of the opposition.


  • The country must be democratized by unbanning political parties;
  • King Mswati must respect the rule of law and human rights as he assumes chairpersonship of the SADC, starting by allowing political parties in Swaziland.


  • Zimbabwe government must respect human rights and allow democracy to flourish;
  • The SADC must ensure that police brutality against innocent civilians, especially women and children, comes to an end;
  • SADC must respond to and investigate the mysterious disappearance of political activists;
  • SADC countries must tell the Zimbabwean government to dissolve establishment 64, Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 and general laws Amendment 64 of 2016.


  • We support the demand of Mauritius’ Social Movements for complete decolonization of the country and the closure of the United States´ military base on Diego Garcia;
  • We call on the SADC heads of States to support the coming initiative to table a resolution at the upcoming UN general assembly on this issue.

Industrialization and Employment

  • Governments must provide farming spaces in communities;
  • Public policies must advance pro-poor agenda;
  • Governments must nationalize all mines in order to create jobs. The domestication of Africa Mining Vision is need so that African can benefit.

EducationCorporate power is progressively capturing formal education institutions and curriculums to advance market and profit-based agenda. We propose a new and counter-hegemonic approach to address an alternative form of popular education for radical and emancipatory social and political change. Examples of the Popular University of Social Movements (UPMS) are to be promoted in order to reverse the current trend where the elitist and exclusionary formal education facilitates the spread of oppression and progress of capitalism.
We therefore demand:

  • Free, quality, public and peoples’ driven education with innovative and emancipatory learning methodologies.

Women, Feminism and Gender

  • SADC countries must protect women from sexual abuse, especially in Swaziland and Lesotho;
  • Full participation of women in decision making must be ensured;
  • Women should be allowed to own land in all SADC countries;
  • Government should channel resources toward businesses that can empower women;
  • No law or culture should be adhered to if it abuses or looks down upon women;
  • Governments must provide protective measures and sanitary towels must be supplied to girls and women monthly for free;
  • Governments must implement the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture, allocating half of the budget to women small scale farmers.

Natural Disasters

  • Governments should intervene and provide water and farming inputs to mitigate the droughts in all areas affected by this disaster.
  • Governments must ensure that an effective early-warning system is put into place to mitigate the effects of natural disasters – such as droughts.
  • A regional campaign to demand SADC governments to prioritize and address drought-affected areas is needed.

Youth and StudentsWe note that effective and efficient Natural Resource governance and management is key to sustainable development financing in Africa. We therefore call SADC governments to:

  • Domesticate the Africa Mining Vision to ensure the promotion of:
  • - Value addition to our natural resources;
  • - Local content development, and
  • - Policy reforms that plug Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs)
  • Commit to domestic resource mobilization: No to conditional aid and debt that plunder resources of future generations!
  • The continued deterioration in democracy and good governance in SADC has marginalized youth from regional development process. We therefore call SADC governments to:
  • Respect principles of democracy and good governance;
  • Implement political governance policies reformation to allow youths’ participation in governance systems (youth quota system);
  • Ensure transparency and accountability, Rule of Law, Human rights and Free and fair elections;
  • Ensure young people are included in the decision making process and participate in all relevant spaces in SADC;
  • Strengthen economical empowerment of the SADC youth;
  • Equally promote youth interest and opportunities across the region;
  • SADC must facilitate the skill and talent development of young people;
  • A policy in relation to contracts, where a significant percentage goes to young entrepreneurs

Global trade structures and injustice

  • Governments should ensure a safer and conducive trading environment for informal business.
  • SADC must exit from the western economy
  • We commit ourselves to campaign against unfair and oppressive trade agreements, to stop neoliberal policies promoted by the World Trade Organization.
  • We demand a Stop to corporate impunity


  • Every person living with HIV should have access to viral load testing every 6 months and all health facilities must have viral loading machines;
  • There should be free TB screening and X-ray for people living with HIV;
  • Mosquito nets should be circulated to all health centres and be freely accessible;
  • Scale up pediatric HIV treatment in all countries in the SADC region;
  • Formalize and create conditions for payment for care workers;
  • Governments must increase access to quality health care and training institutions;
  • Decrease the doctor-patient ratio;
  • Education about health issues must be intensified.


  • Small-scale producers, fishers and farmers need a voice in developing agricultural and environmental policies.
  • We demand a free circulation of peoples´ seeds across the region and the right of production, saving and sharing of native seeds among people.

Globalize the Struggle, Globalize Hope!
Nothing about us, without us!
SADC for the people!
Manzini, 19 August 2016