In the context of the commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Southern African Development Community (SADC), and to honour its founders for their vision, dedication, courage and values, SADC launched a publication entitled: 40 Years of SADC: Enhancing Regional Cooperation and Integration, in Maputo, Mozambique, in June 2021 during the Extraordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government.
The publication highlights the major milestones and achievements as well as the challenges encountered by the regional bloc over the past 40 years. The objective is to show how far SADC has advanced as a Region, with a focus on how regional integration has benefitted citizens, thus promoting greater awareness and participation by the people and their institutions in the process of regional development and integration.
The publication aims to inspire the current generation of leaders to build on the Founding Fathers' vision, values and achievements, and leave a united and prosperous Region for the next generations so that the youth can strengthen the integration of the Region and continent, and expand the achievements going forward, using their own innovations and technologies.
It is recalled that in the 1980s, SADC was at war with apartheid South Africa which used military strength and economic pressure to prevent and destroy the progress of neighbouring countries. SADC has largely contributed to the political liberation, the transition of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference to SADC in 1992 with the aim to move beyond the coordination of activities to become a Regional Economic Community.
The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063 adopted in 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe, is yet another example of the Region's determination to integrate its economies and to claim its rightful place within the global economy.
On the continental front SADC has distinguished itself as one of the main building blocks of the envisaged African Economic Community. Together with its tripartite partners, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community, SADC has led the way in showing what can be achieved together.