A political, economic institution
THE Southern African Development Community is a political and economic institution that provides a framework for regional integration in the region.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) started as Frontline States whose objective was political liberation of Southern Africa.
SADC was preceded by the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), which was formed in Lusaka, Zambia on April 1 1980 with the adoption of the Lusaka Declaration (Southern Africa: Towards Economic Liberation).
The formation of SADCC was the culmination of a long process of consultations by the leaders of the then only seven (7) majority ruled countries of Southern Africa, thus Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia, working together as Frontline States.
In May 1979 consultations were held between Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers responsible for Economic Development in Gaborone, Botswana.
Subsequently a meeting was held in Arusha, Tanzania, in July 1979 which led to the establishment of SADCC on April 1 1980 in Lusaka, Zambia.
On August 17 1992, at the Summit held in Windhoek, Namibia, the SADC Heads of State and Government signed the SADC Treaty and Declaration that effectively transformed the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) into the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The objective also shifted to include economic integration following the independence of the rest of the Southern African countries.
SADC has a membership of 15 Member States, namely; Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.