SALSA to host a Development Seminar in East London

The Secretaries Association of the Legislatures of South Africa (SALSA) is preparing to host its bi-annual Development Seminar on 02-05 October 2012. The prestigious seminar will be held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in East London, South Africa.

Invitations have been extended to staff and officials from the South African Legislative Sector; SADC Parliamentary organisations; international Parliaments and Regional Legislatures and officials from the EU delegation to South Africa. A total of 350 delegates are expected to attend the seminar.

The seminar theme is, ''Building strong Legislatures through collaboration''. It is expected that the seminar will explore the role of the Parliament of South Africa and Provincial Legislatures in a developmental state.

A high-powered team of well-respected presenters will lead discussions in topics ranging from "The Democratic Development State – Implications for Parliaments and Legislatures'' to "Parliamentary Institutes as centres of excellence for capacity development, research, training and knowledge management''.

It is proposed that the 2012 SALSA Development Seminar interrogates the concept of a democratic developmental state and the critical role that must be played by Parliament and Provincial Legislatures.

The notion of the developmental state first referred to the phenomenon of state-led macroeconomic planning in Asia, where the state had autonomous political power as well as control over the economy. This process attracted attention as it emerged that the poor appeared to benefit more than other regions reporting similar economic growth.

A later definition, the democratic developmental state, was introduced to include elements of democracy. This seminar aims to facilitate the debate on policy issues and the democratic developmental state, to support those who endeavour to influence the policy development process.

It is accepted world-wide that the role of Legislatures is to deepen democratic development and transformation. Therefore the main aim of the seminar is to explore the necessary theoretical depth and translate these concepts in a way that strengthens the capacity and technical skills of particularly parliamentary and legislative staff in order to promote institutional strengthening and influence the policy development process.