What Is The Southern African Development Community?

A flag of the Southern African Development Community.
A flag of the Southern African Development Community.

The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization that is composed of 16 member countries. The 16 members are countries are situated on the southern side of the continent of Africa. The headquarters of SADC is located in Gaborone, Botswana. The members of the organization are Botswana, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, Swaziland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Lesotho, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

History Of Formation Of SADC

In the 1960s and 1970s, the leaders of the majority-ruled countries and national liberation movements collaborated in an attempt to bring to n end the white minority rule in Southern Africa, especially in South Africa. They merged individual internal affairs and struggle to help fight the white-minority rule.

The early interrelationships of the countries eventually led to the formation of SADC in 1980. At the time of its formation, the organization was called the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC). The formation of SADCC became a reality with the adoption of the Lusaka Declaration by the nine majority ruled countries of the southern African that took place on the April 1, 1980.

The organization came to be known as The Southern African Development Community (SADC) on August 17, 1992. With the new name, the founding members of SADC and the newly independent Namibia vowed to support each other socio-economically, politically and in security and defense.

How Does SADC Promote Cooperation Among Its Member Countries?

In August 2008, SADC established a Free Trade Area. The Free Trade Area, though faced with a number of challenges, has been promoting economic cooperation among the SADC member states.

To promote youth development and social cooperation, SADC organizes multi-sport events that are referred to as SADC games. The first SADC games were held in Maputo in 2004. The games include sporting activities such as athletics, football, netball, boxing, and basketball.

Six Principal Bodies Of SADC

SADC has six principal bodies that take part in decision-making and in the formulation of regulations that keep the community together. These six principle bodies are:

1. The Summit which is composed of Heads of States and heads of government.

2. Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security

3. Council of Ministers

4. SADC Tribunal

5. SADC National Committees

6. Secretariat

Challenges Facing SADC And Its Member Countries

The member countries are faced with many economic, social, and political problems. The organization seeks to help the member countries resolve some of their challenges. It should, however, be noted that SADC is not capable of resolving the problems that the countries face. It only tries to partly resolve the problems.

Some members of SADC are also members of other regional inter-governmental organizations. For instance, Tanzania is a member of the East African Community and Zambia is also a member of the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Being a member of more than one regional organization reduces a country’s loyalty and dedication to the organization. This is because they have to focus on being part of the two organization, which is obviously strenuous than being a member of one.


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