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Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference

Southern African regional organization designed initially to foster political stability and security, later expanded to encourage economic development. In 1980 nine states in southern Africa sought to lessen their dependency on the apartheid regime in South Africa. The Lusaka Declaration of 7 August 1979 brought the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) into being to enhance political stability and national security. In 1992 it changed its name to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and under the Treaty of Windhoek of 17 August 1992 shifted from political ends to economic ones. After 1996, SADC was based on free trade principles.

South Africa abandoned apartheid in 1991 and joined SADC in 1994. Mauritius joined in 1995, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Seychelles in September 1997. The fourteen SADC countries as of 2006 were Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Economic growth created disunity as each new member sought its own direction, and the SADC was unable to forge unanimity. SADC economies depend largely on raw materials production and as such have little to trade with each other. Indigenous industries are highly vulnerable to outside competition, which the organization has been powerless to control. Each SADC member has its own needs, commitment, and capacity, although all members share a general economic weakness. Many member nations have ties to larger groups such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a customs union, and the European Union (EU). The SADC remains a weak organization unable to overcome the legacies of historical conflict, colonialism, and chronic underdevelopment.

John H. Barnhill


Further Reading
Amin, Samir, Derrick Chitala, and Ibbo Mandaza, eds. SADCC: Prospects for Disengagement and Development in Southern Africa. London: Zed, 1987.; Bamberg, James. British Petroleum and Global Oil, 1950-75: The Challenge to Nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.; Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Southern African Development Coordination Conference. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987.; Lee, Margaret C. SADCC: The Political Economy of Development in Southern Africa. Nashville, TN: Winston-Derek, 1990.; Tostensen, Arne. Dependence and Collective Self-Reliance in Southern Africa. Uppsala, Sweden: Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 1982.
 

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