POLITICAL leaders and non-State actors have been urged to prioritise Southern African Development Community (Sadc) regional integration to strengthen humanitarian development.

The call comes as the impact of COVID-19, climate change and Eastern Europe conflict, has seen Sadc being trapped in deepening debt, which has further exposed the region's over-dependence on external credit and donor funding.

Southern Africa People Solidarity Network member Fambai Ngirande  told NewsDay on the sidelines of a two-day workshop organised by ActionAid to outline the regional indicative strategic development plan,  that government leaders  need to have the political will to prioritise regional integration.

“Citizens have to generate political will and remind political leaders that they have a role to play within the Sadc regional integration agenda where we tend to benefit more,” he said.

"Our role is to constantly remind governments that they have a role to play in the integration agenda.  There is still more work to be done for us to achieve regional integration.”

Sadc Parliamentary Forum  director for programming and parliamentary procedures, Joseph Manzi, also said it was the non-State actors’ duty to play a significant role in regional integration for sustainable development.

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“Non-State actors should engage and support Sadc to strengthen the humanitarian-development-peace nexus for sustainable results consistent with the evolving international discourse,” said Manzi.

He said it was the non-State actors’ mandate to engage Sadc on education and skills development with regards to improving Education Management Information Systems and contribute towards industrialisation.

Manzi urged all stakeholders to embrace harmonised joint assessments (data collection), monitoring, evaluation, reporting and learning guided by the Grand Bargain 2.0 (2021); while calling on all 16 Sadc member States to come on board and endorse the regional Parliament for flawless execution programmes.

To date, he said, only eight countries out of the 16 had signed the agreement to transform the Sadc PF into a fullpledged Sadc Parliament.

“We are still short of the two-thirds threshold to transform the Sadc PF into a regional Parliament,” Manzi said.

The eight countries which have signed are Angola, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Seychelles, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe.