The Trust gave US$250,000 to the project, The Zimbabwe Conflict: an obstacle to regional integration and development, which aims to bring attention to how the Zimbabwe issue is an obstacle to regional integration and development.
This project succeeded in stimulating policy dialogue and debate amongst a variety of regional and international stakeholders and SADC policy makers. Whilst SALO itself says it is too early to gauge whether the project has had a direct impact on the SADC’s positive shift on the Zimbabwe issue, several important stakeholders have acknowledged the efforts of the project, including leading Zimbabwe civil society activists and representatives of the South African government, governing party and international diplomats.
This initiative used two channels to mobilize civil society; both directly through activities which targeted civil society and also through the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (a South Africa-based civil society forum). These channels mobilized civil society, amplified its voice and increased civil society’s influence on public opinion and policy makers, highlighting the need for decisive action by SADC governments to end the violence and electoral problems, which have prolonged the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Further, the project provided a platform for players such as the World Bank, Wits University, UNISA, the EU and the South Africa government to debate the threat Zimbabwe poses to the region’s goals and integration process.