About SADC

What is the Southern African Development Community (SADC)?

The Southern African Development Community 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 01, 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 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 August 17, 1992, at their Summit held in Windhoek, Namibia, the 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.

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