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SADC 2014 - 2015: Are South Africa and Zimbabwe shaping the organisation?

This policy brief discusses the chairing of the Southern African development Community (SADC) and its key institutions by South Africa and Zimbabwe, for the duration of their tenure from 2014 to 2015. It highlights the constraints and opportunities of their agenda-setting functions, considers change or continuity in the SADC institution and makes some recommendations on how both countries can shape SADC’s policy responsibilities.

It is argued that the relationships between domestic context, foreign policy organisational structure, leadership and political agency will determine Zimbabwe and South Africa’s performance in SADC in the coming year.

About the author:

Dimpho Motsamai joined the ISS in 2010 as a researcher in the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis division. Her work focuses on the institutional and policy dimensions of SADC in relation to human security, and political and security cooperation. She also focuses on the dynamics of security and conflict vulnerability in Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. Dimpho studied at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg and holds a master’s degree in international relations. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the wits Graduate School of Public and Development Management.

The ISS is grateful for support from the following members of the iSS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.