SADC reviews Secretariat organisational structure

by Joseph Ngwawi in Mbabane, Swaziland – SANF 16 no. 31
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is reviewing its organisational structure to ensure that it adequately responds to new and emerging issues in the region’s revised development blueprint.

An Extra-Ordinary SADC Summit held in Harare, Zimbabwe in April 2015 endorsed a recommendation by the Ministerial Task Force on Economic Integration that an appropriate institutional framework to support the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap should be developed and aligned to the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) “within a comprehensive and consolidated organisational structure.”

The Revised RISDP 2015-2020, which was approved at the same Extra-Ordinary SADC Summit in Harare, among other things, frontloaded the implementation of the industrialisation agenda for southern Africa.

Priority A of the Revised RISDP seeks to promote industrial development and market integration through, among other things, strengthening the productive competitiveness and supply side capacity of member states as well as improving movement of goods and facilitating financial market integration and monetary cooperation.

Outgoing chairperson of the SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials, Dr Taufila Nyamadzabo said work on the SADC Secretariat organisational structure is at an advanced stage.

“It is upon us as senior officials to provide guidance in order to ensure that a comprehensive organisational structure is established within the SADC Secretariat,” said Nyamadzabo, who is the Secretary for Economic and Financial Policy in Botswana.

He added that the review should “take into account the required capacity to deliver on the priorities and strategies we have adopted and the attendant financial resources for this structure.”

Director for human resources and administration at the SADC Secretariat, Russel Mufaya said the SADC Council of Ministers approved the terms of reference for consultants to review the Secretariat’s organisational structure and institutional infrastructure.

“Through a competitive selection process Ernst & Young was engaged in April 2016 to undertake the SADC Secretariat Organisational Structure and Infrastructure Review,” Mufaya told journalists on the sidelines of the meeting of SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials ahead of the 36th Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government set for 30-31 August in Mbabane, Swaziland.

He said the consultants commenced work in April and “their first draft report will be considered by Council (of Ministers)”, which will meet prior to the 36th Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government.

The integration agenda of southern Africa hinges on the effectiveness of the SADC Secretariat to coordinate and implement regional programmes aimed at promoting socio-economic development.

Headed by an Executive Secretary, the Secretariat is the principal executive institution of SADC, responsible for strategic planning, facilitation and coordination and management of all regional programmes.

The SADC Secretariat is based in Gaborone, Botswana.

Under the present structure that was approved in 2008, the SADC Executive Secretary has two deputies, one for Regional Integration and another for Finance and Administration.

The Secretariat is arranged into eight directorates, and eight stand-alone units responsible for cross-cutting issues. The eight directorates are:

  • Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation – which together with the head of the Organ Troika is an instrument for ensuring and supporting the political and socio-economic security and safety of the region;
  • Infrastructure and Services – tasked with improving the quality of infrastructure in the region;
  • Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment – facilitates and coordinates the gradual reduction of trade restrictions and improved relations in the areas of trade and finance;
  • Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources – aims to ensure food availability, access, safety and nutritional value, as well as equitable and sustainable use of the environment and natural resources;
  • Social and Human Development and Special Programmes – tasked with supporting the development of SADC’s human capital to its fullest potential as an essential step towards tackling the socioeconomic challenges facing the region;
  • Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilisation – coordinates all the planning, policy development and monitoring and evaluation functions of the SADC Secretariat;
  • Budget and Financeprovides financial administration and risk management services to the operations of the SADC Secretariat; and
  • Human Resources and Administration – provides and supports the operations of SADC Secretariat through the management of human resources, procurement of goods and services, and management of physical assets.

The SADC units include Gender, which is tasked with mainstreaming gender perspectives and concerns in all SADC policies, plans and programmes.

Others units are Public Relations; Internal Audit; Macroeconomic Convergence Surveillance; Conference Services; Procurement; Legal; and Information and Communication Technologies.

Southern African News Features offers a reliable source of regional information and analysis on the Southern African Development Community, and is provided as a service to the SADC region. 

This article may be reproduced with credit to the author and publisher.

SANF is produced by the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), which has monitored regional developments since 1985.      Email sanf[at]     

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