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Southern Africa: SADC - Southern African Development Community

Countries: Angola, Botswana, Congo DR, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Contact |  Biography  |  Institutional Background  | Economic Background
At-a-Glance Table (pdf)

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General Secretariat

Executive Secretary: Mr. Tomás Augusto Salomão
Headquarters: Gaborone, Botswana
Address: Private bag 0095, Gaborone, Botswana
Telephone: 267-395-1863
Fax: 267-372-848 / 267-318-1070
Internet Address:



Dr. Tomaz Augusto  Salomao
Executive Secretary SADC

The new SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomão, is a former planning minister in Mozambique who is well known and respected in the region. His appointment was announced at the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held on 17-18 August 2005 in Gaborone.

SADC’s new Executive Secretary was born on 16 Octber 1954 in Inharrime, Inhambane Province in Mozambique. He received his academic training in Mozambique where during his early academic years he was awarded a qualification as Certified Public Accountant in 1972. In 1976 he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and in 1990 he achieved his Master of Arts in Economics from the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo where he later became an economics lecturer between 2002 and 2004. He is a PhD candidate in economics with Johns Hopkins University, USA.

Salomão, 51, has made significant contributions to the development of his country and the region, serving his country in senior posts for the past 22 years. He was most recently the Minister of Transport and Communications from 2000-2004. During this period, he also held international posts as chairperson of the ministers committee of the African Union charged with the development of ICTs in 2003-2004, and as chairperson of the SADC Transport and Communications Committee (SATCC) from 2000 to 2002. He served as Minister of Planning and Finance from 1994 to 1999, during the period of reconstruction in Mozambique following the peace accord. During the same period, he also served as governor for Mozambique at the African Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Prior to his SADC appointment, Salomão was a member of parliament in Mozambique following elections in December 2004.

The Seychelles ceased to be a member of SADC on 30 June 2004. At the August 2004 SADC Summit Madagascar obtained ‘candidate membership status’ for a period of one year. Rwanda also applied for SADC membership, but this was not considered by Council in August 2004. 

















Institutional Background

Created in August, 1992, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), previously known as Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) is a treaty among the 13 member states: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.. Along with the Western CFA Zone, it is one of the important regional groupings in Africa. SADC’s main objectives are mostly economic, political and security and cultural. The Treaty principles (Article 4) commit SADC and its Member States to:

‘Sovereign equality of all member States; Human rights, democracy and the rule of law; Equity, balance and mutual benefit; Peaceful settlement of disputes.’

SADC’s main strategies are:

  • Cooperation and / or integration among member states in a range of sectors and their markets, including transport, health, tourism, agriculture mining, and water, through legally binding protocols.
  • Establishment of a Free Trade Area by 2008, completion of negotiations on a Customs Union by 2010 and a Common Market by 2015.

Recent developments have led to a restructuring of SADC institutions with the creation of a centralized Secretariat and four Directorates: Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI); Infrastructure and Services; Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR); Social and Human Development and Special Programs. A 15-yr Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) has been developed which will be implemented in five-year phases. The RISDP has been adopted by the SADC Summit which was held on 25-26 August 2003 in Dar-es- Salaam, Tanzania and SADC is 5-yr and 1-yr plans for implementation of the RISDP have been developed, while linking it with a budgetary framework.

Economic Background

In 2003, the SADC region had a population of about 209 million and a regional GDP amounting to US$245 billion. SADC features a dominant economy, South Africa, which constitutes about 20% of the population but 70% of the regional aggregate GDP. The South African economy is more sophisticated and diversified, e.g. the share of manufacturing in its GDP and total exports is larger, and its financial depth is greater. In addition, South Africa exports five times as much to other SADC countries as it imports from them, and has bilateral surpluses with each of them.

The structures of the SADC countries are diverse and at varying stages of development. However, common features among several of the SADC countries include: small domestic markets, landlocked locations, linked infrastructure networks, and reliance on a few primary commodity exports. The reliance on internationally traded commodities leaves all SADC countries, and to a lesser extent South Africa, vulnerable to external shocks of international market price fluctuations. Intra-regional trade as a share of total trade remains at a low average 10%-level, reflecting the lack of complementarities between the economies. South Africa alone represents more than 65% of intra-SADC trade. Total SADC exports were $73.2 billion in 2003. The region's major export commodities were energy products (oil and coal) and various minerals including diamonds, gold and copper.

SADC Selected Economic Indicators*20012002


Population (million)203.1207.1209.1
GDP (US$ billion)171.5175.0245.7
GDP growth (%)
DGP per capita (US$)844.4845.01175.0
Fiscal deficit/GDP (%)
Inflation (CPI, %)9.512.09.5
Export growth3.80.6-0.1

 *The figures above for the period through 2003 include Seychelles (which terminated its membership in SADC), but exclude Madagascar. which joined in August 2005.

SADC Selected Social Indicators (latest year available 1997-03) SADCSSA
Life expectancy4446
Literacy rate(%)7765
Infant mortality (%)109103
Access to improved water (%)6458
Gross primary enrollment (%)7887

The economic and financial situation in the SADC countries as a whole improved during 1995-98 and to a lesser extent in 1999. The annual GDP growth rate in SADC countries averaged 2.2 percent during 1995-98 from 0.2 percent over the 1991-94 period and 2.5 percent during the period 1999-2001. The sub-region’s economies grew at a combined rate of 2.7% in 2001. However, economic performance in the 1990s has been very uneven in SADC. Growth has remained strong in Mauritius (5.5% on average from 1991 to 2001), Botswana (5.1%) and Lesotho (4.1%), while Zambia (1%), Zimbabwe (1.4%) and Mozambique rebounded in 1996, following years of adverse weather conditions. War (in Angola and DRC), and internal strife ( Zimbabwe) have adversely affected economic performance in these countries. The economies of Zimbabwe and DRC declined and Angola recorded low economic growth during this period, while they also experienced hyperinflation: Angola (151%), DRC (175%) and Zimbabwe (75%). The substantial external debt of most member states, with the notable exceptions of Botswana, South Africa, Mauritius and Namibia, remains one of the region's greatest challenges. In 2003, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania registered high GDP growth rates of 7%, 5.9% and 5.5% respectively, most other southern African nations stood at an average of 4% growth.

The economic performance recorded by SADC's economies since the early 1990s has not been sufficient to contribute to poverty alleviation at a large scale. SADC social indicators, while well above Sub-Saharan African averages, were stagnant during the last decade. Furthermore, an estimated 14 million people in SADC is HIV/AIDS infected, eroding the gains in social advancement made up till the mid-1990s.

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