The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established as a development coordinating conference (SADCC) in 1980 and transformed into a development community in 1992. It is an inter-governmental organisation whose goal is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient productive systems, deeper co-operation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security among fifteen Southern African Member States.
The main objectives of Southern African Development Community (SADC) are to achieve economic development, peace and security, and growth, alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa, and support the socially disadvantaged through Regional Integration. These objectives are to be achieved through increased Regional Integration, built on democratic principles, and equitable and sustainable development.
The objectives of SADC, as stated in Article 5 of the SADC Treaty (1992) are to:
- Achieve development and economic growth, alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the people of Southern Africa and support the socially disadvantaged through Regional Integration;
- Evolve common political values, systems and institutions;
- Promote and defend peace and security;
- Promote self-sustaining development on the basis of collective self-reliance, and the inter-dependence of Member States;
- Achieve complementarity between national and regional strategies and programmes;
- Promote and maximise productive employment and utilisation of resources of the region;
- Achieve sustainable utilisation of natural resources and effective protection of the environment;
- Strengthen and consolidate the long-standing historical, social and cultural affinities and links among the people of the Region.
SADC Common Agenda
Linked directly to the SADC Objectives is the SADC Common Agenda, originates in Article 5 of the SADC Treaty (1992) as amended. The Common Agenda summarises the key strategies and policies of the institution. Subsequently, the SADC institutional structure is consistent with the SADC Common Agenda and Strategic Priorities that it encapsulates. The same values are echoed in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO).
The SADC Common Agenda is underpinned by a series of principles and policies, including:
- Promotion of sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development that ensures poverty alleviation with the ultimate objective of its eradication;
- Promotion of common political values, systems, and other shared values, which are transmitted through institutions that are democratic, legitimate and effective; and
- Promotion, consolidation and maintenance of democracy, peace and security.