The SADC-DFRC was established under the Principle of Subsidiarity, as approved by the SADC Council of Ministers meeting of October 2002 in Luanda, Angola. Subsidiarity was adopted by SADC member states as one of the Community’s core principles essential for facilitating delivery on SADC’s Common Agenda. By definition, the adoption of the principle of subsidiarity means that:

“….all programmes and activities should be undertaken at levels where they can best be handled based on consultations between governments and relevant stakeholders. The involvement of institutions, authorities, and agencies outside SADC structures to initiate and implement regional programmes using their own generated resources should be promoted and encouraged.”

The founding MOU establishing the Network and the amending addendum are incorporated into the Finance and Investment Protocol of SADC . Following its adoption by SADC Member States, the Protocol transformed the DFI Network and the DFRC (as well as the Fund once established) into full-fledged Treaty-based organisations of SADC.