Southern African Development Community (SADC)

The South African Development Community (SADC) was formed on 17 August 1992. Under article 5 of the Treaty establishing SADC, as amended in 2001, its objectives include: promoting sustainable and equitable economic growth and development; promoting common political values and systems; consolidating democracy, peace, security and stability; achieving complementarity between national and regional strategies; maximising productive employment and use of resources; achieving sustainable use of natural resources and effective protection of the environment; and combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases.


SADC is the successor to the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC), which was established in 1980 in Lusaka, Zambia. The transformation of SADCC into SADC in 1992 redefined the basis of cooperation among Member States from a loose association into a legally binding arrangement and formalised the intention to spearhead the economic integration of the Southern Africa region.


SADC is accountable to the Summit of Heads of State or Government. Its structure includes the: Heads of State-level Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, which is responsible for policy direction on regional peace and security issues between summits; Council of Ministers, which is responsible for the implementation of summit policy decisions; Secretariat, which is the executive body for SADC and headed by the Executive Secretary; Tribunal (based in Windhoek, Namibia), which interprets provisions of the SADC Treaty; Standing Committee of Officials, which offers technical advice to the Council of Ministers; and SADC national committees (SNCs), which deal with thematic issues. Decision-making is by consensus, except in the Tribunal, SNCs and Secretariat.

Members (15)

Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, UR of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe