Constructing Regional Identity and Civic Participation Amongst Citizens

The Southern Africa Youth Exchange (SayXchange)

This youth civic participation exchange programme facilitates exposure to poverty and development issues for young women and men who demonstrate the potential to become leaders in their different professional fields in the future. SayXchange promotes regional integration and a Southern Africa regional identity among young people, by using the power of volunteerism as an important building block for strengthening intercultural understanding and civic participation in the SADC region. Currently the initiative covers four countries – South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia but will be expanded in the next five year strategy to include other countries.

Drivers of Change Award

This initiative recognises individuals and organisations from across the southern Africa region that are making a real impact, especially in developing effective public policies and strategies, to overcome poverty. The awards are in four categories: civil society, government, individual and business. The award was established to hold up living examples of innovative practices, inclusive attitudes and effective processes that build social trust and create the best conditions to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty.

Regional Integration Thought Leadership

An association of eminent people from different sectors and disciplines are convened under this initiative to debate and develop alternative approaches to regional integration, which are people-based and focused on overcoming poverty. This is done through facilitating the establishment of credible new forums such as the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) and by working with partner agencies to convene high level dialogues and disseminate new thinking.

Regional identity through media messaging and platforms

This initiative develops partnerships with key mass media organizations and associations, and utilizes new platforms to enable coverage of pro-poor issues and the influencing of policy by civil society. Through working with the media as partners for change, original and informed content that supports a pro-poor regional integration agenda is disseminated to wider audiences.