12th CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM IN MBABANE, SWAZILAND.
Saturday, May 28th, 2016
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 dialogue and reflect on issues affecting the regional community, the Southern Africa Development 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”