As a culmination to the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of SADC, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique, Chairperson of the bloc, on June 23 launched a publication titled 40 Years of SADC: Enhancing Regional Cooperation and Integration, which brings to light the history of regional economic community and its key achievements since 1980.
Published by the SADC Secretariat in conjunction with the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), 40 Years of SADC highlights the major milestones and achievements, as well as challenges, encountered by the bloc over the past four decades.
This is essential for raising awareness about the path the bloc has travelled in its quest to integrate and for pointing to the future trajectory of the REC as a building block of the African Union and the continental economic community.
40 Years of SADC covers the period from the formation of the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference in 1980, its transformation to SADC in 1992, and the period thereafter.
It is a commemorative publication intended to present and celebrate the achievements of unity and integration in the regional community, and effective practices and lessons learnt towards a shared future.
The publication notes milestones that include:
- The Arusha and Lusaka conferences of 1979 and 1980 that led to the formation of SADCC;
- The decision by the 12th SADC Summit to transform the organisation from a Co-ordination Conference into a Community;
- The decision of the 1999 Summit in Maputo that led to restructuring of SADC and centralisation of activities;
- Adoption of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) in 2003;
- Launch of the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA) in 2008; and
- Adoption of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap in 2015.
The publication also highlights the development of various protocols and other legal instruments.
40 Years of SADC is divided into six chapters that look at the various facets of the bloc’s four-decade journey.
The first chapter gives the regional context and situation in the 1970s and 1980s, and the reason for establishing the SADCC in 1980. The analysis looks at the role of the independence movement and the Frontline States, leading to Namibia’s Independence in 1990 and the signing of the SADC Treaty, and the transformation to SADC in Windhoek in 1992.
Chapter two provides an overview of the main achievements and milestones in terms of establishing the legal and institutional frameworks for SADC since its formation, while Chapter three looks at the SADC governance structure as it has evolved over the years.
Chapter four focuses on the achievements made over the past 40 years of SADCs existence. The analysis is presented using the approach adopted under RISDP 2015-2020 where programmes, projects and activities are clustered under three of the four priority pillars of Industrial Development and Market Integration; Infrastructure Support for Regional Integration; and Special Programmes of Regional Dimension
Chapter five looks at the achievements under the fourth pillar of RISDP 2015-2020 that covers Peace and Security, which is regarded as the foundation upon which the three other pillars are anchored.
The last chapter provides important lessons learnt over the last 40 years that could be considered to advance the regional integration agenda, including key observations and policy considerations. – SADC