Facilitating trade flows between countries belonging to the same sub-region does not only require adequate transport infrastructure, or the availability of competitive and reliable transport services. Both will be used effectively only to the extent allowed by the legal framework governing their operations.
In August 1996, the Heads of State of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) signed the Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology, which sets a broad framework of regional cooperation between SADC Member States in the fields of transport, communications, and meteorology infrastructure and services. A primary objective of the Protocol is to promote the harmonization of policy, legislation, and administrative practices between member states to improve good governance within those sectors.
Since the early 1990s, legal and institutional reform in the roads sector has received more attention in the Southern African Development Conference (SADC) region. This was prompted by the recognition that efforts to maintain and rehabilitate the region's road infrastructure would not deliver sustainable results unless accompanied by wide-ranging institutional strengthening, improved financing arrangements, and administrative reforms.