Southern African Development Community
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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.
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, 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.
SADC 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 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 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 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)
Levy Msanawasa died in Aug 08.
- Kgalema Motlanthe (2008–2009)
- Jacob Zuma (2009–2010)
- Joseph Kabila (2010–2011)
- Hifikepunye Pohamba (2011-present)
Comparison with other regional blocs
- 2 November – rail link from Chipata to Mpika proposed, providing shorter access to sea at Nacala.
- 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
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