The Southern African Development Community

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an organisation aimed at regional integration to promote economic growth, peace and security, create common political values, systems and institutions, alleviate poverty, build social and cultural ties between member states and enhance the standard of living in Southern Africa.

It advocates sovereignty of its member states, the presence of human rights and the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes.

The SADC headquarters are in Gaborone, Botswana.

The following is a brief overview of the 14 SADC countries.

Angola

Since Angola’s 27-year-long civil war ended in 2002 with the death of Unita leader Jonas Savimbi, the country has prospered, with its economy being fuelled by increased production of oil and diamonds.

Capital: Luanda

Geography: Angola has a total area of 1.2-million square kilometres and a population of around 12.3-million. The official language is Portuguese, while numerous other indigenous languages are also spoken.

Natural resources: Petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite and uranium.

Economy: Agricultural production includes bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains, livestock, forest products and fish.

Major industries include petroleum, diamonds, gold, uranium, iron ore, feldspar, bauxite, phosphates, cement, basic metal products, ship repair, textiles, brewing, tobacco products, fish processing, food processing and sugar.

GDP is estimated at US$28.37-billion at the official exchange rate and $51.95-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). Annual economic growth is estimated to be 14%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $4 300.

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Botswana

Uninterrupted civilian rule since independence 1966, progressive social policies and significant capital investment has turned Botswana into one of the continent’s leading economies.

Capital: Gaborone

Geography: Botswana has a total area of 600 370 square kilometres, 15 000 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 1.8-million, with the official language being English. Other languages include Setswana, Kalanga and Sekgalagadi.

Natural resources: Diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore and silver.

Economy: Agricultural production includes livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers and groundnuts.

Major industries include diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, livestock processing and textiles.

GDP is estimated at US$9.69-billion at the official exchange rate and $18.72-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). Annual economic growth is estimated to be 4.7%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $11 400.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

The resource-rich DRC is slowly rebuilding following several years of civil war and dictatorship before that, with general elections being held 2006. Since the end of the elections, DRC President Joseph Kabila has been active in courting for investments.

Capital: Kinshasa

Geography: The DRC has a total area of 2.3-million square kilometres, 77 810 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of around 65.7-million and the official language is French. Other major languages include Lingala, Kingwana (a dialect of Swahili), Kikongo and Tshiluba.

Natural resources: Cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, timber and hydropower.

Economy: Agricultural production includes coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits and wood products.

Major industries include mining (diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, coltan and zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement and commercial ship repair.

GDP is estimated at US$8.06-billion at the official exchange rate and $44.6-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). Annual economic growth is estimated to be 7.5%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $700.

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Lesotho

Originally known as Basutoland, the country was renamed as the Kingdom of Lesotho on independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. Being entirely surrounded by South African territory, the two countries have strong economic and cultural links.

Capital: Maseru

Geography: Lesotho has a total area of 30 355 square kilometres, with a population of 2.1-million. Languages spoken in Lesotho include English, Sesotho, Zulu and Xhosa.

Natural resources: Water, agricultural and grazing land, diamonds, sand, clay and building stone.

Economy: Agricultural production includes corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley and livestock.

Major industries include food, beverages, textiles, apparel assembly, handicrafts, construction and tourism.

GDP is estimated at US$1.42-billion at the official exchange rate and $5.19-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). Annual economic growth is estimated to be 1.7%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $2 600.

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Madagascar

Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, but regained its independence in 1960. Open elections in 1992/93 ended 17 years of single-party rule.

Capital: Antananarivo

Geography: Madagascar has a total area of 587 040 square kilometres, 5 500 square kilometres of which is covered with water. It has a population of 19.4-million and the languages spoken include French and Malagasy.

Natural resources: Graphite, chromites, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish and hydropower.

Economy: Agricultural production includes coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock products.

Major industries include meat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum and tourism.

GDP is estimated at US$5.09-billion at the official exchange rate and $17.27-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). Annual economic growth is estimated to be 5.5%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $900.

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Malawi

Originally established in 1891 as the British protectorate of Nyasaland, it became Malawi following independence in 1964. The first free elections were held in 1994 following three decades of one-party rule.

Capital: Lilongwe

Geography: Malawi has a total area of 118 480 square kilometres, 24 400 square kilometres of which is covered by water, and has a population of 13.6-million. Languages spoken include Chichewa, Chinyanja, Chiyao and Chitumbuka.

Natural resources: Limestone, arable land, hydropower, coal, bauxite and unexploited deposits of uranium.

Economy: Agricultural production includes tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts, cattle and goats.

Major industries include tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement and consumer goods.

GDP is estimated at US$2.17-billion at the official exchange rate and $8.03-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). Annual economic growth is estimated to be 7%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $600.

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Mauritius

A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, Mauritius attracts considerable foreign investment and earns one of Africa’s highest per capita incomes.

Capital: Port Louis

Geography: Mauritius has a total area of 2 040 square kilometres, 10 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 1.2-million and the languages spoken on the island include Creole, Bhojpuri, French and English.

Natural resources: Arable land and fish.

Economy: Agricultural production includes sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses, cattle, goats and fish.

Major industries include food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, non-electrical machinery and tourism.

GDP is estimated at US$7.13-billion at the official exchange rate and $16.72-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). Annual economic growth is estimated to be 4.3%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $13 500.

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Mozambique

Since the end of fighting between Frelimo and Renamo in 1992, Mozambique has prospered following the government’s use of policies favourable to attracting foreign investment.

Capital: Maputo

Geography: Mozambique has a total area of 801 590 square kilometres, 17 500 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 20.9-million and major languages spoken in the country include Portuguese, Emakhuwa, Xichangana, Elomwe, Cisena and Echuwabo.

Natural resources: Coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum and graphite.

Economy: Agricultural production includes cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (tapioca), corn, coconuts, sisal, citrus and tropical fruits, potatoes, sunflowers, beef and poultry.

Major industries include food, beverages, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), aluminium, petroleum products, textiles, cement, glass, asbestos and tobacco.

GDP is estimated at US$6.43-billion at the official exchange rate and $29.32-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). Annual economic growth is estimated to be 9.8%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $1 500.

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Namibia

Since gaining its independence from South Africa in 1990, Namibia has moved from strength to strengh, capitalising on its natural resources and its close links to Germany.

Capital: Windhoek

Geography: Namibia has a total area of 825 418 square kilometres and a population of 2.1-million. Languages spoken in the country include English, Afrikaans, German, Oshivambo, Herero and Nama.

Natural resources: Diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower and fish. There are also suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore.

Economy: Agricultural production includes millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes, livestock and fish.

Major industries include meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products and mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper).

GDP is estimated at US$5.30-billion at the official exchange rate and $15.04-billion using purchasing power parity. Annual economic growth is estimated to be 4.1%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $7 400.

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South Africa

South Africa is the largest economy on the African continent, and sound economic policies have ensured that the country is currently going through its longest ever period of uninterupted economic growth.

Capital: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial)

Geography: South Africa has a total area of 1.2-million square kilometres and has a population of around 44-million. Major languages spoken include Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Sepedi, English, Setswana and Sesotho.

Natural resources: Gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt and natural gas.

Economy: Agricultural production includes corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, beef, poultry, mutton, wool and dairy products.

Major industries include mining, automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs and commercial ship repair.

GDP is estimated at US$200.5-billion at the official exchange rate and $576.4-billion using purchasing power parity. Annual economic growth is estimated to be 4.5%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $13 000.

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Swaziland

The sole absolute monarchy in Africa, Swaziland is closely linked to South Africa economically and culturally.

Capital: Mbabane

Geography: Swaziland has a total area of 17 363 square kilometres, 160 square kilometresof which is covered by water. It has a population of 1.1-million and the languages spoken include English and SiSwati.

Natural resources: Asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone and talc.

Economy: Agricultural production includes sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts, cattle, goats and sheep.

Major industries include coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textile and apparel.

GDP is estimated at US$2.21-billion at the official exchange rate and $5.91-billion using purchasing power parity. Annual economic growth is estimated to be 2%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $5 500.

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Tanzania

Home to Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is largely dependent on agriculture for employment. In addition, a considerable area of the country is wildlife habitat, including a large part of the Serengeti plain.

Capital: Dar es Salaam

Geography: Tanzania has a total area of 945 087 square kilometres, 59 050 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a total population of 39.3-million and languages spoken include Swahili, English and Arabic.

Natural resources: Hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas and nickel.

Economy: Agricultural production includes coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables, cattle, sheep and goats.

Major industries include agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine), diamond, gold, and iron mining, salt, soda ash; cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products and fertilizer.

GDP is estimated at US$13.13-billion at the official exchange rate and $29.25-billion using purchasing power parity. Annual economic growth is estimated to be 5.8%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $800.

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Zambia

Drained by both the Congo River basin and the Zambesi River basin, Zambia has for long been linked with the copper mining industry, following its fortunes. To lessen dependence on copper, the government is aiming to diversify the economy in areas such as tourism, agriculture and hydro-power.

Capital: Lusaka

Geography: Zambia has a total area of 752 614 square kilometres, 11 890 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 11.4-million and major languages spoken include English, Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja and Tonga.

Natural resources: Copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium and hydropower.

Economy: Agricultural production includes corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seed, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), coffee, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs and hides.

Major industries include copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer and horticulture.

GDP is estimated at US$5.80-billion at the official exchange rate and $11.51-billion using purchasing power parity. Annual economic growth is estimated to be 6%. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $1 000.

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Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources, and during non-drought years is able to produce enough to supply its electricity needs through hydro-electric power. Despite the recent economic downturn, the country continues to attract investment from the likes of China and India.

Capital: Harare

Geography: Zimbabwe has a total area of 390 580 square kilometres, 3 910 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 12.3-million and major languages spoken include English, Shona and Sindebele.

Natural resources: Coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin and platinum group metals.

Economy: Agricultural production includes corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts, sheep, goats and pigs.

Major industries include mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, clay, numerous metallic and non-metallic ores), steel, wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs and beverages.

GDP is estimated at US$3.14-billion at the official exchange rate and $25.05-billion using purchasing power parity. Due to the events of recent years, the economy is estimated to be contracting by 4.4% per year. GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at $2 000.

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