Southern African Development Community
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
|Motto: "Toward a Common Future"|
|Anthem: SADC Anthem|
Map of Africa indicating SADC (light green) and SADC+SACU (dark green) members.
|-||Summit Chairperson||Armando Guebuza|
|-||Council Chairperson||Oldemiro Balói|
|-||SADC PF Chairperson||Abdool Ameen|
|-||SADC Tribunal President||Ariranga Pillay|
|-||Secretary General||Tomaz Salomão|
|Legislature||SADC Parliamentary Forum|
|-||as SADCC||1 April 1980|
|-||as SADC||17 August 1992|
3,815,832 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2010 estimate|
|-||Total||US$ 575.5 billion|
|Time zone||(UTC+1 to +4)|
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states. It complements the role of the African Union.
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of the African Union
SADC has 15 member states, one of whose membership is currently suspended:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo – since 8 September 1997
- Mauritius – since 28 August 1995
- Namibia – since 31 March 1990 (since independence)
- South Africa – since 30 August 1994
- Seychelles – also previously been a member of SADC from 8 September 1997 until 1 July 2004 then joined again in 2008.
The origins of SADC lie in the 1960s and 1970s, when the leaders of majority-ruled countries and national liberation movements coordinated their political, diplomatic and military struggles to bring an end to colonial and white-minority rule in southern Africa. The immediate forerunner of the political and security cooperation leg of today's SADC was the informal Frontline States (FLS) grouping. It was formed in 1980.
The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) was the forerunner of the socio-economic cooperation leg of today's SADC. The adoption by nine majority-ruled southern African countries of the Lusaka declaration on 1 April 1980 paved the way for the formal establishment of SADCC in April 1980.
Membership of the FLS and SADCC sometimes differed.
SADCC was transformed into SADC on 17 August 1992, with the adoption by the founding members of SADCC and newly independent Namibia of the Windhoek declaration and treaty establishing SADC. The 1992 SADC provided for both socio-economic cooperation and political and security cooperation. In reality, the FLS was dissolved only in 1994, after South Africa's first democratic elections. Subsequent efforts to place political and security cooperation on a firm institutional footing under SADC's umbrella failed.
On 14 August 2001, the 1992 SADC treaty was amended. The amendment heralded the overhaul of the structures, policies and procedures of SADC, a process which is ongoing. One of the changes is that political and security cooperation is institutionalised in the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (OPDS). One of the principal SADC bodies, it is subject to the oversight of the organisation's supreme body, the Summit, which comprises the heads of state or government.
SADC has 26 legally binding protocols dealing with issues such as Defence, Development, Illicit Drug Trade, Free Trade and Movement of People.
The SADC Free Trade Area was initiated in 2000; its original members were the SACU countries (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland). Next to join were Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar. In 2008 Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia joined, bringing the total number of SADC FTA members to 12. Angola, DR Congo and Seychelles are not yet participating.
In 2008, the SADC agreed to establish a Grand Free Trade Area with the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) including all members of each of the organizations.
Challenges facing member countries
SADC countries face many social, development, economic, trade, education, health, diplomatic, defence, security and political challenges. Some of these challenges cannot be tackled effectively by individual members. Cattle diseases and organised-crime gangs know no boundaries. War in one country can suck in its neighbours and damage their economies. The sustainable development that trade could bring is threatened by the existence of different product standards and tariff regimes, weak customs infrastructure and bad roads. The socio-economic and political and security cooperation aims of SADC are equally wide-ranging, and intended to address the various common challenges. 
SADC's aims are set out in different sources. The sources include the treaty establishing the organisation (SADC treaty); various protocols (other SADC treaties, such as the corruption protocol, the firearms protocol, the OPDS protocol, the health protocol and the education protocol); development and cooperation plans such as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO); and declarations such as those on HIV and AIDS and food security. Not all of the pre-2001 treaties and plans have been harmonised with the more detailed and recent plans such as the RISDP and SIPO.
In some areas, mere coordination of national activities and policies is the aim of cooperation. In others, the member states aim at more far-reaching forms of cooperation. For example, on foreign policy the main aim is coordination and cooperation, but in terms of trade and economic policy, a tighter coordination is in progress with a view to one day establishing a common market with common regulatory institutions.
Structure and decision-making procedures
The organisation has eight principal bodies:
- The Summit, comprising heads of state or heads of government
- Organ on Politics, Defence and Security
- Council of Ministers
- SADC National Committees (SNCs)
Except for the Tribunal (based in Windhoek, Namibia), SNCs and Secretariat, decision-making is by consensus.
SADC in practice
One significant challenge is that member states also participate in other regional economic cooperation schemes and regional political and security cooperation schemes that may compete with or undermine SADC's aims. For example, South Africa and Botswana both belong to the Southern Africa Customs Union, Zambia is a part of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and Tanzania is a member of the East African Community.
On Wednesday 22 October 2008, SADC joined with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community to form the African Free Trade Zone. The leaders of the three trading blocs agreed to create a single free trade zone, the African Free Trade Zone, consisting of 26 countries with a GDP of an estimated $624bn (£382.9bn). It is hoped the African Free Trade Zone agreement would ease access to markets within the zone and end problems arising from the fact that several of the member countries belong to multiple groups.
The African Free Trade Zone effective has been more than a hundred years in the making--a trade zone spanning the whole African continent from Cape to Cairo and envisioned by Cecil Rhodes and other British imperialists in the 1890s. The only difference is that the African Free Trade Zone is the creation of African Countries for the mutual benefit and development of its member countries. The idea is a free trade zone spanning the whole continent from the Cape to Cairo (Cape Town in the Republic of South Africa to Cairo in Egypt).
In addition to eliminating duplicative membership and the problem member states also participating in other regional economic cooperation schemes and regional political and security cooperation schemes that may compete with or undermine each other, the African Free Trade Zone further aims to strengthen the bloc's bargaining power when negotiating international deals.
Analysts believe that the African Free Trade Zone agreement will help intra-regional trade and boost growth.
The organization's current flag was created by a consensus of the people of the member countries. A competition within the member states was held to amend the flag to reflect the new acronym in the same style as used previously. Contest proposals ended in 1994 and in 1995 a new flag was chosen. The new flag has a Navy Blue field with a Green circle in the centre and SADC logo is in the middle of that green circle.
In the official description of the flag, Blue symbolises the sky and ocean that bring water and life, and green is for the rich Varied Flora and Fauna, while the regions rich gold wealth is represented in the Logo itself. The previous Flag was a blank white field with the SADCC Logo on centered on it. The Flag was first used in the 1995 SADC Summit in the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park near Johannesburg.
- Levy Mwanawasa (died 19 August 2008)
- Kgalema Motlanthe (2008–2009)
- Jacob Zuma (2009–2010)
- Joseph Kabila (2010–2011)
- Hifikepunye Pohamba (2011–present)
Comparison with other regional blocs
|African Economic Community
|Area (km²)||Population||GDP (PPP) ($US)||Member
|in millions||per capita|
|Area (km²)||Population||GDP (PPP) ($US)||Member
|in millions||per capita|
|1 The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is a signatory to the AEC, but not participating in any bloc yet
2 Economic bloc inside a pillar REC
smallest value among the blocs compared
largest value among the blocs compared
During 2004. Source: CIA World Factbook 2005, IMF WEO Database
- 2 November – rail link from Chipata to Mpika proposed, providing shorter access to sea at Nacala.
- Africa gateway (31 March 2009). "SADC suspends Madagascar". South Africa Info News. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
- Deep Integration
- Railways Africa – EXTENDING BEYOND CHIPATA
- Confusion surrounds Mugabe's appearance at crisis meeting – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Gabriël Oosthuizen, The Southern African Development Community: The organisation, its history, policies and prospects. Institute for Global Dialogue: Midrand, South Africa, 2006.
- John McCormick, The European Union: Politics and Policies. Westview Press: Boulder, Colorado, 2004.
- Ramsamy, Prega 2003 Global partnership for Africa. Presentation at the human rights conference on global partnerships for Africa’s development, Gaborone: SADC
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