The effective use of the media in regional integration can help inform, empower and persuade citizens to actively participate in the integration agenda as well as foster public debate and policy change in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This Media and Engagement Strategy on SADC Regional Integration, therefore, aims to complement the SADC Communication and Promotional Strategy (SCPS) in defining concrete action plans to enable stakeholders such as policymakers and non-state actors to meritoriously communicate the benefits, opportunities and challenges of belonging to a regional community in southern Africa. In this regard, this Strategy is designed to help SADC achieve its longstanding vision of a United, Integrated and Prosperous region by adopting new and innovative communications strategies in the past, present and the future. The Strategy thus strives to highlight how effective communications can:
• Ensure SADC citizens understand and appreciate regional integration efforts;
• Change behaviour and increase grassroots support for advancing regional integration; and
• Facilitate two-way and constructive dialogue on enhancing regional integration in SADC.
The Media and Engagement Strategy has been developed by experienced media practitioners and experts on regional integration -- Kizito Sikuka and Joseph Ngwawi -- from the Southern Africa Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), with support from the Southern African Trust (SAT) through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The three organizations – GIZ, SAT and SARDC – have a strong footprint on working towards deeper regional integration in southern Africa. The Strategy is divided into eight sessions.
The first session presents a brief background to the strategy, while the second part gives a general overview of the media and engagement landscape in SADC. What follows next is an analysis of the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) that prevails in SADC. Session 4 presents the main objectives of the Strategy, while Session 5 looks at the desired results of the strategy. The targeted audiences are presented in Section 6, while the Tactics, Channels and Tools of the strategy are highlighted in Section 7 with the Messages, as well as Crisis Management presented in Session 8 and 9 respectively.