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The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaboronemarker, Botswanamarker. 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.

History

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 Namibiamarker 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.

In 2008, the SADC agreed to establish a free trade zone with the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) including all members of each of the organizations.

Since 2000 began the formation of the SADC Free trade area with the participation of the SACU countries (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland). Next to join were Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar. In 2008 joined Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia bringing the total number of SADC FTA members to 12. Angola, DR Congo and Seychelles are not yet participating.

Member states

SADC has 15 member states, namely:
  • – since 31 March 1990 (since independence)
  • – since 30 August 1994
  • – since 28 August 1995
  • – since 8 September 1997
  • had also previously been a member of SADC from 8 September 1997 until 1 July 2004 then joined again in 2008.


Suspended
  • after the coup d'état lead by the former mayor of Antananarivo Andry Rajoelina.


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

Location of SADC in the World


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:



Except for the Tribunal (based in Windhoekmarker, 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.

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 October 22, 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 is the realization of a dream more than a hundred years in the making, a trade zone spanning the whole African continent from Cape to Cairo and envisioned by Cecil Rhodesmarker 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 Townmarker in the Republic of South Africa to Cairomarker in Egyptmarker.)

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.

Flag

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 Johannesburgmarker.

Leaders

Chairperson

Levy Msanawasa died in Aug 08. Joseph Kambila – DRC president – (current-president)

Secretaries-General



Comparison with other regional blocs

Timeline

2007



2008

  • 12 April "Confusion surrounds Mugabe's appearance at crisis meeting"


See also



References

  • 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


  1. Railways Africa – EXTENDING BEYOND CHIPATA
  2. Confusion surrounds Mugabe's appearance at crisis meeting – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


External links




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