Every year, on 23rd March, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) commemorates the Southern Africa Liberation Day to recognise the priceless sacrifice of the generation of men and women who fought gallantly for the liberation of Southern Africa. The Summit meeting of SADC held in Windhoek, Namibia in August 2018, endorsed the day as a way of preserving the history and institutional memory of SADC.
The day is, therefore, special in the calendar of the SADC region as it marks one of the major turning points in the history of Southern Africa’s struggles against the colonial and apartheid regimes. It signifies an end, in 1988, to one of the fiercest conventional battles of the liberation struggle, fought at Cuito Cuanavale in southern Angola, where the armed forces of the apartheid regime of South Africa were defeated by the combined forces of the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) and Cuban forces, backed by liberation movements and the Frontline States, leading to the liberation of both Namibia and South Africa.
It is now 34 years since the end of this battle, and 42 years since SADC came into being, and we reflect with pride upon the freedom that we enjoy today which has enabled us to be masters of our own destiny. Drawing inspiration from our Founders, we realise that political freedom alone is not enough, if not accompanied by sustainable socio-economic development that lifts our people from poverty to prosperity.
It is against this backdrop that, in August 2020, SADC adopted a comprehensive Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and SADC Vision 2050 to further deepen regional integration and foster economic development.
Read full statement from the link below: