Africa gateway


The Southern African Development Community

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an organisation that strives for regional integration to promote economic growth, peace and security in the southern African region.

It aims to create common political values, systems and institutions among its 15 member states, to build social and cultural ties, and to help alleviate poverty and enhance the standard of living among a regional population of 277-million.

It stands for the sovereignty of its member states, the upholding of human rights and the rule of law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

SADC member states
SADC has grown to include 15 member states. (Image: SADC)

The SADC's headquarters are in Gaborone, Botswana.

SADC website

The 15 SADC member states (click to jump down to their profiles) are:

Angola

Map of 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 about 17.9 million. The official language is Portuguese, while numerous other indigenous languages are also spoken.

Natural resources: Diamonds, oil products, gas, wildlife, agricultural products, sea and marine sources.

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$129.3-billion at the official exchange rate and $177.3-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The gross domestic product (GDP) real growth rate was estimated at 4.8% in 2014.

Links:

Botswana

Map of Botswana

Uninterrupted civilian rule since independence in 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 2 million, and the official language is 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$15.22-billion at the official exchange rate and $35.87-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 4.4% in 2014.

Links:

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Map of the DRC

The resource-rich DRC is slowly rebuilding following several years of civil war and dictatorship. Since the holding of elections, DRC President Joseph Kabila has been actively courting investment.

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 about 75.2 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$35.92-billion at the official exchange rate and $57.78-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 9.2% in 2014.

Links:

Lesotho

Map of Lesotho

Originally known as Basutoland, the nation was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. The country is closely linked to South Africa, both economically and culturally.

Capital:Maseru.

Geography: Lesotho has a total area of 30 355 square kilometres, with a population of 1.8 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$2.22-billion at the official exchange rate and $5.575-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.4% in 2014.

Links:

Madagascar

Map of 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 by water. It has a population of 20.6 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$10.67-billion at the official exchange rate and $34.05-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.3% in 2014.

Links:

Malawi

Map of Malawi

Originally established in 1891 as the British protectorate of Nyasaland, the country 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 14.3 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$6.055-billion at the official exchange rate and $19.58-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 5.7% in 2014.

Links:

Mauritius

Map of 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, 10kmē 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$12.59-billion at the official exchange rate and $23.53-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.6% in 2014.

Links:

Mozambique

Map of 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 20.5 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$16.68-billion at the official exchange rate and $31.21-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 7.4% in 2014.

Links:

Namibia

Map of Namibia

Since gaining its independence from South Africa in 1990, Namibia has moved from strength to strength, 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$13.63-billion at the official exchange rate and $23.48-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 4.5% in 2014.

Links:

Seychelles

Map of Seychelles

Capital: Victoria.

Geography: Seychelles has a total area of 455 square kilometres and a population of 87 000. Languages spoken in the country include French, English and Seychellois Creole.

Natural resources: Fish (mostly tuna), cinnamon, copra.

Economy: The tourism and tuna fishing sectors have led economic growth.

The government has also promoted the development of farming, fishing, and small scale manufacturing to decrease the dependence on tourism.

GDP is estimated at US$1.423-billion at the official exchange rate and $2.424-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.3% in 2014.

Links:

South Africa

Map of South Africa

The South African economy is the second largest on the African continent, with a sophisticated financial system that includes one of the top 10 stock exchanges in the world, and well developed physical, telecommunications, and energy infrastructures.

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

Geography: South Africa has a total area of 1.2 million square kilometres and a population of about 50.5 million. Major languages spoken include isiZulu, isiXhosa, 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$350.1-billion at the official exchange rate and $707.1-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 1.5% in 2014.

Links:

Swaziland

Map of Swaziland

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

Capital: Mbabane (administrative) and Lobamba (royal and legislative).

Geography: Swaziland has a total area of 17 363 square kilometres, 160 of 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, textiles and apparel.

GDP is estimated at US$4.416-billion at the official exchange rate and $10.56-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 2.5% in 2014.

Links:

Tanzania

Map of 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 50.5 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$48.09-billion at the official exchange rate and $128.2-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 7% in 2014.

Links:

Zambia

Map of Zambia

Drained by 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 13.4 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$26.6-billion at the official exchange rate and $61.39-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 5.6% in 2014.

Links:

Zimbabwe

Map of 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 12.7 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$13.83-billion at the official exchange rate and $27.26-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.3% in 2014.

Links:

Sources: Southern African Development Community, The World Factbook

SouthAfrica.info reporter
Updated December 2015

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info material

sadc  sadc, soutern african development communityThe Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established as a development co-ordinating conference, known as the SADCC, in 1980. It was transformed into a development community in 1992. (Image: GCIS)

Related links

SADC QUICK LINKS



Angola
  • Government of Angola
  • National Assembly of Angola
  • Ministry of Tourism

  • Botswana
  • Government of Botswana
  • Botswana Development Corporation
  • Tourism of Botswana

    DRC
  • DRC Mission to the UN
  • Friends of the Congo

    Lesotho
  • Lesotho Government
  • Transformation Centre Lesotho
  • Lesotho Tourism

    Madagascar
  • Madagascar Government
  • Madagascar Library
  • Wild Madagascar

    Malawi
  • Malawi Government
  • Malawi Tourism

    Mauritius
  • Mauritius Government
  • Mauritius Investment Agency
  • Discover Mauritius

    Mozambique
  • Mozambique Government

    Namibia
  • Namibia Government
  • Namibia Tourism Board

    Seychelles
  • Seychelles Government
  • Seychelles Tourism

    South Africa
  • South African Government
  • SA Department of Trade
  • South African Tourism

    Swaziland
  • Swaziland Government
  • Swaziland Chambers of Commerce
  • Swaziland Tourism Authority

    Tanzania
  • Tanzania Government
  • Tanzania Development Gateway
  • Tanzania Tourist Board

    Zambia
  • Zambia Government
  • Zambia National Tourist Board

    Zimbabwe
  • Zimbabwe Government

    Go to the Southern African Customs Union Southern African Customs Union Established in 1910, the Southern African Customs Union, whose members include South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, is the oldest of its kind in the world. The SACU is a customs-free zone, meaning all import duties between its members have been abolished, enabling the free interchange of goods between members.

    It differs from a free-trade area in that it has a common external tariff that is imposed against all non-members of the customs union.

    All customs and excise duties collected in the common customs are paid into a common pool, of which South Africa is the custodian.

    Revenue is shared by members according to a revenue-sharing formula adopted in 2002, which only calculates the shares of Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, with South Africa receiving the residual.

    The customs union also negotiates trade agreements as a bloc with third party countries or other regional trading blocs.

    MediaClubSouthAfrica

    MediaClubSouthAfrica.com

    Helping the media cover the South African story.