SADC leaders gather in Windhoek for 38th summit

South Africa hands over the chair of SADC to Namibia at that gathering but it retains effective leadership of the grouping for the foreseeable future.

Officials from the 16 Southern African Development Community (SADC) nations. Picture: Twitter/@SADC_News.

PRETORIA - Officials from the 16 Southern African Development Community (SADC) nations are in Windhoek on Thursday preparing for next week’s summit of the regional body.

South Africa hands over the chair of SADC to Namibia at that gathering but it retains effective leadership of the grouping for the foreseeable future.

When South Africa joined SADC 24 years ago it trod carefully to avoid being perceived as the big brother.

After all, SADC’s predecessor the Southern African Development and Coordination Conference was established in 1980 to counter the might of the apartheid regime.

But things have changed and South Africa is expected to stand head and shoulders above its neighbours in terms of economic and military power and political clout until the middle of this century.

So, like Germany in Europe and the US in the Americas, it will be the leader like it or not.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)