Strengthening the reform agenda and management structures of SADC institutions

Project description

Title: Strengthening the reform agenda and management structures of SADC institutions
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Southern African Development Community (SADC): Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Lead executing agency: SADC Secretariat
Overall term: 2005 to 2016


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an alliance of 15 southern African states that cooperate in pursuit of politically stable, socially just and economically sustainable development in the region. Their objective is to reduce poverty and to secure peace, democracy and stability throughout the region.

Initially, national SADC coordination units worked in each country, focusing on different thematic priority areas. However, in 2001 the SADC Heads of States and Government decided to establish a central Secretariat in Botswana. Since then, the region’s experts have been working here to address the core themes of regional integration – trade liberalisation, infrastructure, peace and security, food security and conservation of natural resources, social development, gender, science and technology development.

To be able to perform its sector-specific and policy related activities, the Secretariat first required an organisational structure in which all staff members could perform their duties efficiently. From the outset GIZ supported the SADC Secretariat with this internal capacity building process, and it continues to advise the Executive Secretary and the senior management on the strategic orientation and design of the steering process.


The reform agenda and management structures of the SADC institutions receive support in implementing the 15-year Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).


On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is advising the SADC Secretariat on the implementation of the complex and politically sensitive SADC reform following the period of centralisation. Building on an organisational analysis, this support focuses on the development of transparent, performance-based management to push forward the regional integration. Among other measures, the following activities are supported by the project:

  • Development of an organisational structure for the Secretaiat, oriented toward the thematic priority areas adopted by the Heads of States and Government of the SADC Member States.
  • Development of an administrative structure which supports professional interactions between individual directorates and the work of the Secretariat. This structure includes, for example, human resources management and development, a document management system, and reporting and information flows.
  • Development of a planning and monitoring system that is used to organise the implementation of SADC’s long-term regional development plan and measure the progress achieved.

Results achieved so far

The decades of bilateral cooperation between GIZ and many of the SADC Member States with the resulting contacts at national and regional level have generated a spirit of trust that now improves the collective efforts of the 15 Member States toward regional integration.

SADC has developed into a regional think-tank for integration topics. In collaboration with leading researchers and policy makers, experts at the Secretariat devise a range of proposals for the Member States, which will help them to work together in addressing challenges such as climate change. In the course of a policy dialogue involving all the countries, which is supported by GIZ, these topics are prioritised and then prepared as regional protocols for legislation.