The  Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secondary School Essay Competition  is open .SADC invites the Secondary School  students who wish to participate in the Essay Competitions to submit their essay writing.


The topic for the 2023 SADC Secondary School Essay competition is: How can SADC promote Industrialisation for inclusive, resilient and sustainable economic growth?

The topic is derived from the theme of the 42nd Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held virtually by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa on 17th August 2022, which is: Promoting industrialisation through, agroprocessing, mineral beneficiation, and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth.  



The wording of the think piece and content should aim at addressing the topic and at the same time promoting the SADC’s Objectives and Common Agenda.

All entries should be typed and submitted in electronic version in Microsoft Word document format. All essays entering the competition should be in one of the SADC working languages, i.e. English, Portuguese and French.

Note: The essay should be between 900 and 1000 words. The deadline for submission of entries to the Department of Basic Education is 28 April 2023.

Marking Guidelines:

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

  1. Explain in your own words what industrialisation is and how it relates to economic development. (10 points)
  2. The SADC region is committed to continuing implementation of its activities and programmes, especially those that promote industrialisation, because they are essential to the region’s long-term socio-economic success. Provide five specific examples, explain their significance, and discuss how they have contributed to the region’s development. (20 points)
  3. What are the focus areas in which you think the SADC region should intervene to maximize the execution of industrialisation-based projects, and what are the barriers that are impeding industrialisation and access to many markets within the area? (20 points)
  4. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy (2015-2063) and Roadmap seeks to encourage economic and technological transformation in the Region, with an emphasis on initiatives to build regional value chains. Discuss some of the priority areas for regional value chains development in the SADC region and offer examples where required. (25 points)
  5. It is an effort by the SADC region to create sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone and can withstand challenges. In what ways have other sectors contributed to augment industrialisation, and what specific examples can you provide? (25 points)


Winners and Prizes

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.

  • Applicants must reside in South Africa,
  • Applicants must be  currently attending secondary school,
  • Essays must not be more than 1000 words but not less than 900 (Arial 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, and
  • Applicants must be willing and fit to travel.

To submit an entry:

Learners should forward their essays to sadcessay@dbe.gov.za.

For enquiries refarding the competition, one of the following officials may be contacted:​

  • Mr Lucky Maluleke: maluleke.l@dbe.gov.za | 012 357 3494
  • Ms Zanele Rakumaku: rakumaku.z@dbe.gov.za | 012 357 3485
  • Ms Matome Sekgota: sekgota.m@dbe.gov.za | 012 357 3373

The closing date for entries is 28 April 2023.

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