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Southern African Development Community

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What is the Southern African Development Community (SADC)?

The Southern African Development Community or SADC (pronounced “Sadec”) is an inter-governmental organisation in Southern Africa which aims to encourage socio-economic cooperation between its 16 member states.

Officially formed in 1992, a key SADC policy is the promotion of sustainable and equitable economic growth, and socio-economic development. It aims to accomplish this through implementing efficient productive systems, more cooperation and integration, sound governance, and lasting peace and security amongst member states. Another SADC policy relevant to the market is to promote and maximise productive employment and utilisation of resources.

The SADC is currently implementing two core plans. The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) is a 15 year plan which provides a comprehensive roadmap for social and economic policy development towards regional integration. One key priority area identified is science and technology (S&T). The RISDP recognises the importance of S&T in remaining competitive on a global scale, and so the development and strengthening of national systems of innovation is important. Information and communications technology (ICT) is also recognised as a key factor in achieving sustainable development. The RISDP encourages foreign trade and private sector involvement at all levels, to forge growth in the priority areas.

The second core plan is the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO) on Defence, Politics and Security. The SIPO plan is predominantly aimed at creating a peaceful and stable political environment in the SADC region, which will facilitate realisation of the objectives of socio-economic development and regional integration. The SIPO plan is therefore welcomed by international investors and corporations, as stable political environments should lead to conducive business environments. Smit & Van Wyk can assist with protecting innovations in the SADC region, through national applications and/or a regional applications through African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO).

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