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In 1995 the SADC Council of Ministers approved the establishment of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secondary School Essay Competition to recognize the best work in the region. Since 1996 the SADC Secretariat has been coordinating the Secondary School Essay Competitions to encourage learners in the Region to understand the role of SADC and disseminate information on SADC in order to support the process of regional co-operation and integration.

The topic for the 2020 SADC Secondary School Essay Competition is “How can a conducive environment for Industrial development and intra-regional trade, create jobs for SADC citizens?”

Learners should discuss how how a conducive environment for Industrial development and intra-regional trade, create jobs for SADC citizens.



The essay should not be longer than 1200 and not shorter than 1000 words. The deadline for submission of entries to the coordinators is 28 March 2020.

Where entrants have access to computers it is advised that they type their entries and submit both soft in PDF format and hard copies. They may sign and initial the hard copies to make sure that they have not been altered. Those submitting hard-written scripts, should ensure that their entries are visible and should not scribe on both sides of the sheet.

Marking Guidelines:

The set of questions below are meant to guide entrants when responding to the question above. Secondary school learners should ensure that they address the questions listed below in their essays:

1. Definition of Industrial development and how it can contribute to meaningful attainment of regional economic development and growth, as well as enhancement of the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa (20 points)

2. Discuss the measures that SADC Member States should put in place to create conducive environment for Industrial development and increased intra-regional trade. (20 points)

3. Discuss how SADC Member States can tap into its rich natural resources to grow its Industry, improve trade as well as create jobs for its citizens, and what you perceive as stumbling blocks to industrialize within the region. (20 points)

4. Discuss the prerequisite skills and knowledge needed by the youthful population of the region in taking meaningful lead in industrial development and trade taking into consideration challenges which have hindered SADC Member States to significantly achieve development in the past. (20 points).


The three selected essays from each Province will be forwarded to the Department of Basic Education and the three national winning essays will be submitted to the SADC Secretariat.

The SADC Secretariat has allocated a sum of US $ 1000 as prize money for the national winners of the competition in each Member State. The prize money will be divided as follows:

  • US $ 500 for the first prize
  • US $ 300 for the second prize
  • US $ 200 for the third prize

Each candidate will receive the equivalent of the prize money in South African Rands. The three national winning essays will be forwarded to the SADC Secretariat for consideration in the regional competition.


Eligibility Criteria:
  • Applicants must reside in South Africa,
  • Applicants must be  currently attending secondary school,
  • Essays must not be more than 1200 words but not less than 1000 (Ariel 1.5 line spacing for typed essays),
  • Submissions must be the unaided work of applicants,
  • Submissions should be in English,
  • The name of entrants should be the same as those that appear on the Identification Document (ID) or Passport,
  • Applicants must be willing and fit to travel.

To submit an entry:

Learners should forward their essays to a coordinator in their Province by 28 March 2020.

Provincial Co-ordinators

Eastern Cape

Ms Funeka Jwaai

Tel: 040 608 4308



Free State

Mr J Matsaneng

Tel: 051 404 8612

Email: /



Strini Naicker

Tel: 011 355 0595



KwaZulu Natal

Ms Sthoko Shange

Tel: 033 348 6027




Mr RH Takalo

Tel: 015 291 1689




Mr H Nkosi

Tel: 013 766 0957



North West

Ms V Phetwe

Tel: 018 397 3025

Email: /


Northern Cape

Mr Wilfred Marais

Tel: 053 839 6596



Western Cape

Ms F Haffejee

Tel: 021 467-2868



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