The Southern African Development Community brings together fourteen countries from Southern Africa and Indian Ocean : South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Maurice, Mozambique, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
1980 Creation of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) by nine countries of the front-line (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe).
1992 Following the independence of Namibia, signature of the founding treaty of SADC in Windhoek by the nine members of the SADCC and Namibia.
1994 End of the Apartheid regime. South Africa joins the SADC.
1995 - 2005 Mauritius (1995), the Democratic Republic of Congo (1998), the Seychelles Islands (1998) and Madagascar (2005) join the organisation, which is by this time made up of 14 members.
March 2001 Initiation of an institutional reform, aiming at reinforcing the SADC cohesion: dissolution of the coordinating sectors units. Their activities come under the authority of a reinforced Secretariat. Setting up of coordinating tools (post of a Chief Director within the Secretariat, Integrated Committee of Ministers, National Committee of the SADC in the Member States), setting up of a regional development plan for 15 years to provide guidelines for the development policies of the region.
2003 Adoption of two long term (15 years) indicative strategic plans, one concerning the development of the region (RISDP, Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan), the other about political, defence and security issues (SIPO, Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ). The implementation of these orientations is planned up to now within 24 protocols (especially concerning Trade, Finance and Investment, Cross-border and National rivers Management, etc.).
April 2006 SADC Consultative Conference / cooperation partners (Windhoek) : Adoption of a Declaration on the principles for aid between SADC and its partners, definition of five priority fields and setting up of thematic groups for cooperation with donors.
The SADC set up institutions mainly modelled on the EU structures:
Summit (Head of State level). Superior institution of the SADC, the Summit meets once a year in August to define the policy of the organisation. There is a troika made up of its former presidency, the current one and the next one.
Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation: it is under the authority of a rotating Troika of Heads of State (different from the previous one)
Council of Ministers : Made up of Minister of each Member State in charge of the follow-up of the SADC (usually, the Finance Ministers or Foreign Affaires Ministers), the Council aims at overseeing the process and the functioning of the SADC, at monitoring the effective setting up of the organisation policies and at preparing the Summit meeting. Generally speaking, the Council meets twice a year, at the beginning of the year to discuss the budget of the organisation, and in August just before the annual SADC Summit.
Integrated Committee of Ministers : founded in order to break with the sectors ruling logic until the 2001 changes (specialised councils), is under the authority of the Council of Ministers (ICM) – made up of 2 to 4 Ministers of each Member State in accordance with the adopted agenda- meets once a year to provide orientation, to oversee and to coordinate the political level of the different sectors activities. Furthermore, sectors sub-committees meet on an ad hoc basis to deepen some issues.
Secretariat : the SADC Secretariat is the harmonising organ and the strategic leader for the SADC process (coordinating the implementation of the two strategic indicative regional plan).
SADC National Committees: founded after 2001, the National Committees (SNCs) are accountable for making each Member State contributing to the implementation of regional policies and for coordinating and overseeing their transposition at the national level.
The relations with donors are based especially on the setting up of consultative biannual conferences at the ministerial level (Windhoek in 2006, Mauritius from 18th to 20th April 2008).
Meetings are also held between ambassadors of partners countries, in the framework of the Joint Task Force, and at a lower level in the framework of the Core Group meeting.
For more information, you can visit the Web page of the organisation.