The Southern Africa Development conference (SADC) the forerunner of the SADC, the community was established in April 1980 by government of nine Southern Africa countries of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbwabwe.
The formation of SADC was the culmination of long process of consultations by the leaders of southern Africa, towards the end of the 1970’s it became clear to the leader of the region that just having a national flag and a national anthem would not meet the needs of the people for improved living standard. The problems facing SADC includes;
1.Differences in levels of economic development. Other countries such as the Republic of South Africa are very rich, while other countries such as Tanzania, Zamba, Zimbwabwe, Malawi and Mozambique are very poor. This gap in the economic development has greatly affected the performance of the community; this is because there is inequality in the distribution of the benefit derived from SADC’s undertakings.
2.SADC lacks enough qualified skilled manpower to explore and utilize its natural resources, it is still dependence on assistance from the developed nations and hence these situations result to the weakening of the regional independence. Inadequate provision of resources and staffing by member states also has led to inequitable distribution of responsibilities and obligations.
3.SADC suffers much from financial situation. SADC lacks enough capital to utilize its natural resources as well as running the organization; this is due to the fact that most of its member states are poor economically.
4. The price of raw materials is low and fluctuating in the word markets. As it is know that most of the third world countries are producer of raw materials, they depend much on the world markets for selling their products. Unfortunately, the developed world determines the prices for all products produced in third world countries, which are normally
5. The mono-crop economy of Africa nations are also detrimental to SADC. The member countries fail to support one another in trade since they are all producing the same products
6.Cooperation in mere words rather than deeds is yet another reason for SADC’s relative failure. This is a result of both signing a treaty or agreement and then failing to implement it or of sending officials to SADC meeting that are unqualified or who have no legitimacy to make a decision on the issues being discussed.
7.War affects SADC’s effectiveness. Some member’s states such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Angola face reconstruction problem from years of civil wars. They are in need or human development and infrastructure that could take years to initiate. With such member states undergoing such difficult political, social and economic situation regional integrations will be affected.
8. Divided loyalties as some member states are also tied to other economic grouping. For example, common market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) includes almost half of SADC’s member states, excluding the rest. The East Africa Union (EAU) also binds one of SADC’s members.
9. Different management and administrative procedure and rules, varying standards, qualifications and performance criteria for stuff involved in the management of the Regional programme.
10. Lack of an institutional framework in which ministers responsible for foreign affairs in the SADC region could discuss and adopt common positions on matters pertaining to the organization in various international forum.