Southern African Development Community

Southern African Development Community

Infobox Geopolitical organization
name = Southern African Development Community (SADC)
linking_name = the Southern African Development Community

symbol_type = Logo
image_symbol = Sadc_logo.gif

map_width = 300px
map_caption = SADC-only (yellow) and SADC+SACU members
membership = 15 African states
admin_center_type = Headquarters
admin_center = Gaborone, Botswana
languages_type = Working languages
languages = nowrap|English, French, Portuguese , Afrikaans
leader_title1 = Secretary General
leader_name1 = nowrap|Tomaz Salomão
established_event1 = as the SADCC
established_date1 = April 1, 1980
established_event2 = as the SADC
established_date2 = August 17, 1992
official_website =
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization. It furthers 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.


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 Front Line 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.

The headquarters of SADC is in Gaborone, Botswana.

Member states

SADC has 14 member states, namely:
*flagcountry|Namibia - since 31 March 1990 (since independence)
*flagcountry|South Africa - since 30 August 1994
*flagcountry|Mauritius - since 28 August 1995
*flagcountry|Democratic Republic of the Congo - since 8 September 1997
*flagcountry|Madagascar - since 18 August 2005

flagcountry|Seychelles had also previously been a member of SADC from 8 September 1997 until 1 July 2004.

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.

Aims of the SADC

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, the members largely aim to coordinate their foreign policies, but they aim to harmonise their trade and economic policies with a view to one day establishing a common market with common regulatory institutions.

SADC structure and decision-making procedures

The organisation has eight principal bodies:

* The Summit, comprising heads of state or heads of government, are at the top.
* OPDS, the
* Council of Ministers,
* Tribunal,
* SADC National Committees (SNCs), and the
* Secretariat.

Except for the Tribunal (based in Windhoek, Namibia), SNCs and Secretariat, decision-making is by consensus.

SADC in practice

SADC is a weak organisation. It is under-resourced, and the member states are not happy to give it the powers that they agreed to give it when they launched the overhaul of the organisation in 2001.Fact|date=June 2007

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.


The flag of the organization came from the people of the member countries; a competition was held to design a new flag and in 1995 the new design was chosen. The new flag has a navy blue field with a green circle in the centre, and the SADC logo is in the centre of the green circle. In the official description of the flag, the blue symbolises the sky and ocean that bring water and life, and the green represents the rich flora and fauna. The region's rich gold wealth is represented in the colour of the lettering. The flag was first used in the 1995 SADC Summit at the World Trade Centre in Johannesburg.



*Levy Mwanawasa (c2007)


*Kaire Mbuende (1994-2001)
*Prega Ramsamy (2001-2005)
*Thomas Salomao (2005 - present)

Comparison with other regional blocs



*2 November - rail link from Chipata to Mpika proposed, providing shorter access to sea at Nacala. [ [ Railways Africa - EXTENDING BEYOND CHIPATA ] ]


*12 April "Confusion surrounds Mugabe's appearance at crisis meeting" [ [ Confusion surrounds Mugabe's appearance at crisis meeting - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ] ]

See also

*Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
*East African Community (EAC)
*Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
*List of Trade blocs
*Southern African Customs Union (SACU)


* 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

External links

* [ Southern African Development Community Official Web Site]
** [ Decisions of the Southern African Development Community Tribunal]
** [ Official SADC Trade, Industry and Investment Review]
** [ Committee of Central Bank Governors in the SADC]
** [ SADC Lawyers' Association]
** [ SADC Regional Environmental Education Programme]
** [ Electoral Commissions Forum]
** [ SADC Parliamentary Forum]
* [ SADC Free Trade Agreement]

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