The Indian Ocean island country of Madagascar decided to withdraw from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina announced on Wednesday. Rajoelina said that the business community leaders asked the High Transitional Authority(which is his new arrangement of leadership-I refuse to call it a government) to help them. He also said the business community had told him that they were not ready to compete with their counterparts in the SADC.
Hard questions must be asked. How come SADC is so easy to pull out from? How come Rajoelina feels confident enough to just walk out without fearing for any repurcussions for his country? True, you may think it is all to do with preserving his ill gotten power against an organization that has said it will not recognize him. But, to me it points to the inherent weaknesses of SADC.
SADC has always been a coalition of the so called liberation freedom fighters in Southern Africa. Its purpoted economic cooperation pales into insignificance when you compare it to COMESA. With time, SADC is losing its relevance to newer and younger political parties who feel, and rightly so, that they can do away with this group of old men. Rajoelinas withdrawal is so far the first, but I am willing to bet my last dollar, that it will not be the last. SADC must shape up to the realities of the new political dispensation of younger, less corrupt leadership, who have nothing to do with the so called wars of independence.
If SADC had stepped in politically when the people of Madagascar were crying out for help, it should have been able to quell this disaster. But because SADC is what it is, a useless gathering of liberation movements who are all about looking out for each other, they failed to make themselves useful when the Madagascan crises was unfolding. This knee jerk reaction of rushing to suspend Madagascar after the fact, only buttresses my long held suspicion that this group is not compatible to the politics of today.
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