The dairy industry in the Eastern and Southern Africa region plays an important role in the lives of many people. From smallholder farmers to milk hawkers there are millions of households or businesses involved with over 80% of the milk in the region produced by smallholders. In general, the dairy sector is one of the critical sectors in the region with high potential for improving food security and welfare of its people.
Preceding establishment of ESADA forum compromising dairy stakeholders in the COMESA and EAC was convened. It was recommended that a general private-sector trade association be set up to, among other issues, promote trade for dairy products in the region. ESADA has been providing a common forum to knit the regional dairy fraternity together and thus it has emerged as the leading African Dairy Association.
The overall governance of the Association is vested on the board of directors drawn from all ESADA chapters. The ESADA secretariat, currently in Nairobi, Kenya, is managed by the Executive Director who then deploys the necessary staff to implement and monitor various programmes undertaken by ESADA.