The 39th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and preceding meetings are taking place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The preceding meetings have started since 5th of August and the Heads of States meeting will take place from 17th to 18th of August, 2019.
SADC was formed in 1980 as Southern African Development Coordination Conferences (SADCC) and then changed to SADC in 1992. It was aimed as a regional integration and poverty eradication block through economic development and ensuring peace and security, none of these aims have been achieved.
SADC countries face many social, economic, political and security challenges despite many years of its presence. Most of its member countries’ economies growth have been downgraded by the World Bank to 2.3 percent for 2018, down from 2.5 percent in 2017, and 2.8 percent in 2019, so it has remained below three percent.
Over all, this low growth reflects their ongoing economic uncertainties that have increasingly come from domestic and international macroeconomic instability, including debts, inflation, and deficits, regulatory uncertainties and fragility that are having visible negative impacts on their economies.
In spite of having abundant resources these countries are still under neo colonialism of the Western capitalists especially US and China. So, they will never have a stable economy under capitalism.
Poverty has been the biggest challenge for sub-Africa in which most of SADC countries are included. Reports suggest the poor residing in sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to be about 87 percent, around three quarters of the 43 countries with poverty rates above the average of 18 percent are in sub-Saharan Africa, where average rates stand at 41 percent.
The organisation has failed to stabilize security among member states and region at large. Organized-crime gangs and civil wars, which are mostly fueled by capitalist’s nation’s interest, have affected and damage their economies as well as social cohesion. Through war on terror propaganda, they have been deeply interfered with colonizers and forced to torture and murder their own people for the sake of acquiring dirty corruption in the name of war on terror.
They have failed to bring about the sustainable development, instead, the existence of tariff regimes, which is bounded to nationalism and bad roads infrastructure have been among major bottlenecks to development.
This community like many others has proved failure, member states also participate in other regional economic cooperation schemes and regional political and security cooperation schemes, for example, South Africa and Botswana both belong to the Southern Africa Customs Union, Zambia is a part of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and Tanzania is a member of the East African Community.
In conclusion, SADC like any other regional blocks in the continent will neither generate true development nor save its people from severe poverty, since they are nothing but neo colonialist tools of exploitation.
Written by Said Bitomwa
Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Tanzania