The Southern African Development Community (SADC) copied the European Union (EU) model of integration. The creation of many regional integration initiatives in Eastern and Southern Africa has been based on the EU model and the SADC’s admiration for this format of integration is undisputed. First, this paper gives a brief history of both the EU and the SADC. The second part looks at the importance of institutions in an organisation and how the EU has managed to use institutionalism in enhancing deeper integration. The discussion will be enhanced by a comparison of a selected institutional structure and framework of both organisations. The article will not consider all the institutions in both organisations since such an exercise will not be feasible within its limited length. The gaps and shortcomings identified in the comparative analysis will lead to the proposal of a set of recommendations that the SADC could find instructive.