History of SADCMET


Regional cooperation and integration in southern Africa owes its origin to historical, economic, political, social and cultural factors that have created strong bonds of solidarity and unity among the peoples of Southern Africa. These factors have contributed to the formation of a distinct Southern African personality and identity that underpins political and economic cooperation.
The formal establishment of structures to promote regional cooperation and integration started as an initiative of the Frontline States, the original members of which were Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. This initiative was directed initially towards the political liberation of the region. Most of the countries of Southern Africa ultimately achieved political independence, but against a background of mass poverty, economic backwardness and the threat of powerful and hostile white minority-ruled neighbours. Thus, the leaders saw the promotion of economic and social development through co-operation and integration as the next logical step after political independence.
Accordingly, based on the outcome of the July 1979 Arusha Conference which agreed on a strategy to launch the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), the then nine majority-ruled states of southern Africa - Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe - met at Summit level in April 1980 in Lusaka, Zambia and declared their commitment to pursue policies aimed at economic liberation on the basis of the sustainable integrated development of their economies.