Sadc: ‘Persian gulf’ of minerals
The 15 Sadc member-states are set to be represented at the highest level at the 34th Summit to be hosted by Zimbabwe in Victoria Falls on August 17 and 18. Below are brief profiles of the 15 countries:
Covers 1 247 000 km² in the western region of Southern Africa and is the second largest country south of the Sahara after the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Angola’s population is estimated at 17 992 000 (latest census) and it gained independence from Portugal in 1975.
The oil industry is the backbone of the economy, but oil and fishing are the main sectors that have attracted foreign investment in recent years.
Angola’s economy has been devastated by decades of civil war, which negatively impacted on sectors such as agriculture, iron mining and diamonds. Angola also has significant tourism potential.
Botswana is a completely landlocked country in the centre of Southern Africa and shares borders with South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The country covers an area of about 582 000 km² and the Kalahari Desert occupies more than 70 percent of the country.
The total population size as per the 2011 Census is 2 024 904 and diamond mining is the major contributor to the export revenue.
The livestock industry contributes about 80 percent of agriculture’s share of GDP, while tourism continues to play an increasingly significant role.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The DRC is geographically the largest state in Southern and Central Africa and covers an area of 2 345 095 km², while the population is estimated at 75 259 000 (2011).
The DRC became independent on 30 June 1960 and its economy is primarily based on the mining sector.
It has abundant mineral resources including copper, cobalt, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore and coal as well as timber, and vast hydro-power potential.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, accounting for 42.5 percent of GDP in 2004, while wildlife is also contributing to eco-tourism.
The Kingdom of Lesotho is situated in the south eastern region of Southern Africa, covering an area of 30 355 km² and is entirely surrounded by South Africa.
More than 75 percent of Lesotho is mountainous, with only 25 percent considered lowland. The population of Lesotho is about 1 879 000 (2011). The manufacturing sub-sector, mainly driven by textile and clothing industries, dominates Lesotho’s exports. The mining sector is a marginal contributor to GDP, although Lesotho is believed to have significant mineral deposits.
Madagascar is an island situated 400 km off the east coast of Africa, separated from the mainland by the Mozambique Channel.
The population of Madagascar is estimated at 20, 696 million (latest census) and agriculture contributes about 14 percent of the GDP.
Madagascar is a key producer of fish and other contributors to the economy include industries.
Malawi is a landlocked country located in southern central Africa along the western part of the Great Rift Valley of Africa. Covering a total area of 118 484 km², Malawi has an estimated population of 14 389 000. Agriculture is the largest sector of the Malawian economy, contributing more than a third of GDP, and generating more than 90 percent of total export earnings.
Mauritius is situated in the south west Indian Ocean, approximately 2 400 km from the south east coast of Africa. Although the volcanoes are long since dormant, they have left their mark on the profile and landscape of the island.
With a total population of approximately 12 96 303 (2014), the financial services sector is emerging as one of the most important contributors to the Mauritian economy.
Over 27 000 global business companies operate from Mauritius which is increasingly seen as a safe, trusted and secure international financial centre.
Other sectors doing well include life sciences, healthcare, renewable energy, film-making, marinas and high-precision manufacturing.
Mozambique lies on the east coast of Southern Africa, measuring a total of some 799 380 km² in area and is bordered by Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy, although mining and tourism also contribute significantly.
Namibia is situated on Africa’s south-western seaboard. Its neighbouring countries are Angola to the north, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the east and South Africa to the south. It covers 825 615 km² and has a population of approximately 2 303 315. Second only to mining in terms of foreign revenue earned, tourism offers tremendous potential for growth.
The cosmopolitan Seychellois are a colourful and harmonious blend of different races which stem from African, European and Asian roots all of whom have brought something of their own customs and way of life to the islands. The population of Seychelles stands at 87 000.
South Africa occupies the southernmost part of the African continent stretching from the Limpopo River in the north to Cape Agulhas in the south.
Covering an area of 1 219 090 km², the country shares borders with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe in the north, and with Swaziland and Mozambique in the north east. South Africa has an estimated population of 50 586 000 and its economy is the most advanced on the African continent, with a sophisticated financial system that includes one of the top 10 stock exchanges in the world.
It is a leader and a competitive producer of raw commodity exports and value-added goods, such as motor vehicles.
Major contributors of the manufacturing sector include chemicals, food, transport equipment, and iron and steel. The tourism industry is rapidly developing into an important generator of employment opportunities.
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small, landlocked country covering a total area of 17 364 km² and is located in the southern part of Africa bordered by Mozambique to the east and the rest by the South Africa. While the country is drought-prone, sugarcane is grown commercially on a wide scale under irrigation for production of sugar as the country’s major export product.
Cattle farming is also extensively carried out and the 2007 census indicates a population of 1 018 449 people. The country’s strong cultural heritage, tradition and biodiversity are strong attractions for tourists.
The United Republic of Tanzania includes the Indian Ocean islands of Pemba and Zanzibar and the mainland territory, covering a total area of 1,0219,090 km².
Tanzania has a common border with Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west; and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The total population of Tanzania is estimated at 50 586 000 (latest census).
Tanzania is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for 46 percent of GDP, while it is considered one of the premier tourism destinations in Africa.
The country has bountiful natural resources, including extensive tracts of wilderness and a rich diversity of scenery.
Zambia is an entirely landlocked country covering an area of 752 612 km². To the north it is bordered by the DRC and Tanzania, to the west by Angola, to the south west by Namibia, to the east by Malawi and Mozambique, and to the south by Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Zambia’s population is approximately 13 459 000 (latest census).
Mining and quarrying account for a large proportion of Zambia’s merchandise exports and have traditionally contributed the largest proportion of the country’s total GDP. Zambia is presently the world’s fourth largest producer of copper and has around 6 percent of the world’s known reserves.
Other contributors to the economy are industry, fishing, tourism and agriculture.
Zimbabwe occupies 390 757 km² of land in south central Africa, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The land-locked country is bounded by Mozambique to the east, Zambia to the north and north west, South Africa to the south, and to the south west by Botswana.
Zimbabwe has a population of 13 061 239 (latest census) and its economy is dependent on agricultural products including tobacco, cotton and sugarcane and mining contributes 4,3 percent to GDP.
Other contributors to the economy are industry, tourism and cattle farming. — Herald Reporter/Sadc.