(Sample Material) Study Kit on Current Affairs for UPSC Mains Exam: India and World Organizations: Southern African Development Community (SADC)

(Sample Material) Study Kit on Current Affairs for UPSC Mains Examination

India and World Organizations: Southern African Development Community (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization with a goal to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 Southern African states of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia Zimbabwe and Madagascar(currently suspended after the coup) and is headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. It complements the role of the African Union.

Background of SADC

The Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference, SADCC, the forerunner of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established in April 1980 by governments of the nine Southern African countries of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The SADCC was transformed into Southern African Development Community (SADC) on 17 August, 1992 and August17 is celebrated as SADC day every year.


The formation of SADC was the culmination of a long process of consultations by the leaders of Southern Africa with the broader objective of pursuing economic and social development in the region namely, Energy, Tourism, Environment and Land Management, Water, Mining, Employment and Labour, Culture, Information, Sports, Transport and Communications and to implement programmes and projects at the national and regional level and to secure international understanding and support. Other sectors are Finance and Investment, Human Resource Development, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Legal Affairs and Health.

SADC Structure and Decision-making Procedures

The organisation has eight principal bodies:

  • The Summit, comprising heads of states or heads of government
  • Organ on Politics, Defence and Security
  • Council of Ministers
  • Tribunal
  • SADC National Committees (SNCs)
  • Secretariat

Except for the Tribunal (based in Windhoek, Namibia), SNCs and Secretariat, decision-making is by consensus. SADC summit is the supreme policy making institutions.


The 30th Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government to celebrate the 30th anniversary of SADC was held in Windhoek on August 17,2010 to take stock of the achievements up to that time and to chart out a course for effective implementation of the decision taken and develop strategies for economic and social development of the SADC region. The 31st SADC Summit was held in Luanda, Angola in August, 2011 and Chairmanship of SADC also passed from Namibia to Angola .The Summit was distinguished by two key developments: Angola’s Chairmanship, a country whose foreign policy is often referred to as ‘multivector’, its diplomacy ‘unconventional’ and regional ambitions beyond oil exportation reticent; and South Africa chairing organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation- the latter expected to recommend headways to the protracted deadlocks in Zimbabwe and Madagascar. The economic integration agenda was also discussed.

Challenges Facing Member Countries

SADC countries face many social, development, economic, health, diplomatic, defence, security and political challenges. Some of these challenges cannot be tackled effectively by individual members. Cattle disease and organized Gangs know no boundries. War in one country can suck in its neighbours and damage their economies.

The sustainable development that trade could bring is threatened by the existence of different product standards and tariff regime, weak customs infrastructure and bad roads. To achieve this, in 2008, the SADC agreed to establish a free trade zone with the East African Community(EAC) and the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA) including all members of each of organization. Since 2000 began the formation of SADC Free Trade area with the participation of SACU countries (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland) and total number of countries joining are 12 except Angola, DR Congo and Seychelles.

India - SADC Cooperation

The Government of India signed the Memorandum of Understanding on economic cooperation with SADC on 14th Oct, 1997. Broadly areas of cooperation include: agriculture, water recourses management, human resources development, entrepreneurial development, promotion of small and medium scale industries, non – conventional energy sources, communications, commerce, Banking, diplomacy and enterprises development through private sector involvement.

As a follow up to the MOU signed in Oct 1997, the First India SADC Forum meeting was held in Windhoek on 28th April 2006. The Forum agreed to focus cooperation in the sectors of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment; Food, Agriculture and pharmaceuticals: Water Resource Management; and Information and Communications Technology.

This was followed by the visit of team of experts from India to the SADC Secretary during March 27 – 30, 2007 when 11 projects were discussed. SADC Secretariat submitted seven priority projects for implementation. The following five projects were approved by the Government of India in July 2008 at a concessional line of credit mounting to US$ 29.22 Million through EXIM Bank of India:

1. Dry Land Agriculture Project Emphasizing Regional Irrigation and Water Management for Small Scale Farmers.
2. SADC Regional Project on Value Addition to Primary Agriculture Products;
3. Demonstration Center for Small and Micro Enterprises
4. Study of Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Parks (STEP)
5. Pre – feasibility Study for the Transfer of Water from the Congo Basin to the Water Scare Countries in the SADC region.

In pursuance of the India Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi in April 2008 and plan of action formulated in March 2011 for implementation of decisions of the IAFS, the first meeting of the African Regional Economic Committees was held in New Delhi from Nov 14 – 16, 2010. The SADC delegation was led Ms. Emilie Mushobekwa, Deputy Executive Secretary (Finance and Administration) and was advised to suggest names of five solid, viable and executable proposals as per their priority by Nov 2010. The list of these priority projects from the SADC Secretariat was received in March 2011 are as follows:

1. Dry Land Agriculture Project Emphasizing Regional Irrigation and Water Management of Small Scale Farmers.
2. SADC Regional Project on Value Addition to Primary Agriculture Products
3. Demonstration Center fro Small and Micro Enterprises
4. Study of Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Parks (STEP)
5. Water Resources Management

The above projects are at various stages of implementation. The second meeting of India and African RECs took place in New Delhi on 8-9 November, 2011 and SADC dropped out at the last moment.

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