What you need to know about SADC

Vuk'uzenzele - - Grenlaetriaonls -

the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) cel­e­brated its 25th an­niver­sary re­cently.

Tsh­wane hosted the 37th Or­di­nary Sum­mit of SADC which saw Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma take over from Swazi­land’s King Mswati III as the chair­per­son of SADC, for a term that will run un­til Au­gust 2018.

SADC was formed on 17 Au­gust 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia, with its pre­cur­sor known as the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Co­or­di­nat­ing Con­fer­ence (SADCC), which was es­tab­lished in 1980 in Lusaka, Zam­bia.

To­day, 25 years later, the re­gional bloc has 15 mem­ber states with di­verse groups of na­tions, rang­ing from the least de­vel­oped coun­tries, small is­lands and land-locked states to coun­tries with vast land masses and re­sources and con­sid­er­able po­ten­tial.

These coun­tries have a com­mon vi­sion - sus­tain­able and eq­ui­table eco­nomic growth and so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment, and the pool­ing of re­sources to achieve col­lec­tive self-re­liance to im­prove the liv­ing stan­dards of the es­ti­mated 300 mil­lion peo­ple in the re­gion.

SADC has a num­ber of in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing the sum­mit which is its supreme pol­icy-mak­ing in­sti­tu­tion and con­sists of heads of state and/ or gov­ern­ments of all mem­ber states.

The sum­mit usu­ally meets once a year, around Au­gust, and is re­spon­si­ble for the over­all pol­icy di­rec­tion and con­trol of SADC’s func­tions, as its de­ci­sions are bind­ing. The sum­mit elects a chair­per­son and vice-chair­per­son for a one-year term that ro­tates among the bloc’s mem­ber states.

SADC has en­joyed suc­cess in the ar­eas of gov­er­nance, democ­racy, peace and se­cu­rity, which has en­sured that the re­gion en­joys un­par­al­leled peace, po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity over the past few years.

In­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment

Sim­i­lar progress can be noted in in­fra­struc­ture across dif­fer­ent sec­tors, such as en­ergy, trans­port, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, tourism, me­te­o­rol­ogy and wa­ter, trade, in­dus­try, fi­nance and in­vest­ment, food, agri­cul­ture and nat­u­ral re­sources, and so­cial and hu­man devel­op­ment.

For ex­am­ple, on­go­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects in the re­gion in­clude the ZiZaBoNa In­ter­con­nec­tor Project, that will link Zim­babwe, Zam­bia, Botswana and Namibia; the es­tab­lish­ment of the Namibia-An­gola In­ter­con­nec­tor, that will con­nect the lat­ter to the South­ern African Power Pool; and the Grand Inga III Hy­dropower project, which seeks to har­ness the power po­ten­tial of the Congo River, sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa’s great­est wa­ter­way.

Once all seven of its planned phases are com­plete, the Inga project is ex­pected to gen­er­ate a mas­sive 40 000 megawatts of re­new­able power.

Lead­ers from South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity mem­ber states.

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