In 1992, Heads of Government of the region agreed to transform then Southern African Coordinating Conference (SADCC) into the Southern African Development Community (SADC), with the focus on integration for economic development.
SADCC was formed in 1980 in Lusaka, Zambia to advance the cause of national political liberation in Southern Africa, and to reduce dependence particularly on the then apartheid era in South Africa; through effective coordination of utilization of the specific characteristics and strengths of each country and its resources.
The SADC Treaty was signed to replace the Southern African Coordinating Conference (SADCC). 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 programs;
- Promote and maximize productive employment and utilization of resources of the region;
- Achieve sustainable utilization of natural resources and effective protection of the environment; and
- Strengthen and consolidate the long-standing historical, social and cultural affinities and links among the people of the Region.
SADC is composed of 9 main institutions: Summit of Heads or State or Government, Summit TROIKA of the Organ on Politics Defense and Security, SADC Tribunal, SADC Council of Ministers, Sectoral and Cluster Ministerial Committees, Standing Committee of Senior Officials, SADC Secretariat, SADC National Committees, and SADC Parliamentary Forum.
Based in Gaborone, Botswana, the current Member States are: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.