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I. History and framework of the relations between the EU and the SADC region

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1. Chronology of the links between the EU and the SADC States

To understand the present relations between the SADC and their partners in the EU, it is useful to take a look at how they evolved over time in history. The LC emerged out of a long tradition of close relations between the members of the European Union and their former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The contacts between the European powers and the Southern African region were established largely through Portuguese adventurers. At the eve of the emergence of tenacious links between the Western European powers and Southern Africa, the region was host to a number of European sailors like Diogo Cão (who landed on the west coast of Southern Africa on the territory of present day Angola in 1482), Vasco da Gama (who extensively explored the west and east coast of Africa including the territories of present day Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, etc., in his first journey in 1497–1499 as well as in subsequent journeys in the beginning of the 16th century). These and other sailors and explorers like Bartolomeu Dias, Pedro da Covilhã, Francisco D'Almeida, Ruy Lourenço Ravasco, Diogo Dias, etc., had travelled the region since the turn of the 15th century and were the first to open the way for intensified trade links and missionary activities. [The Portuguese established feitorias (factories or trade agencies) that served as commercial centres in a period when slaves became eventually the main object of trade. By 1505, for instance, trade posts had already been established in Mozambique (Otubusin 1992: 121122, Gray 1976: 124133, Chilcote and Edelstein 1974, Matambalya 1997). On the African Coast, they served also as refreshment expeditions to India (cf. Freeman-Grenville 1991).]
Later developments including the establishment of the colonial system manifested the prevalent realpolitik of this time in human history. [Existing trade links were instrumental for the European powers to enter into an era of struggle for hegemony in Africa. According to historical records, the Kingdom of Lesotho was declared a de facto British colony as far back as 1868. The Berlin conference of 1884, when Africa was officially divided up among the European Powers, earmarked yet another turning point in relations between Europe and Africa. The colonial masters of the 12 SADC members were: the UK in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe; Germany and later the UK in Tanzania; Germany and later the RSA Boer Regime in Namibia; the UK and the Netherlands in South Africa; Portugal in Angola and Mozambique; and France in Mauritius. The consolidation of the colonial order was associated with increased trade and direct investment. The phenomenon of nowadays development aid or assistance can be traced back to that period as well.]
There is no doubt that, with the key external players in the region now belonging to the EU, these developments marked the integration of the region in today's international system (cf. Matambalya 1997, Freeman-Grenville 1991).

Though the LC is a voluntary contract between groups of sovereign states, it has its roots in the colonial period. Already the Convention of Application of the Treaty of Rome, which was signed on February 28th, 1957 and came into effect on January 1st, 1958, regulated the co-operation between the EEC and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) as well as other states dependent on France, Belgium, Italy or the Netherlands. Subsequent arrangements between the EEC and the Association of African States and Madagascar (AASM) followed under Youndé I. Youndé II included for the first time two states from the current SADC region: Mauritius and Tanzania. Since the UK had become a member of the EEC in 1973, another five countries joined the Lomé I arrangement. These were the former British colonies: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia.

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Other SADC States, after having gained national independence joined the arrangement: Zimbabwe (Lomé II), Angola and Mozambique (Lomé III) and Namibia (Lomé IV). Table 1 depicts the systematic change in the profile of signatory states in Europe as well as among Southern African ACP States, especially highlighting the growing number of signatories among the latters (cf. Matambalya 1997, The Courier No. 120 March – April 1990, EG 1984, FES 1976, EG 1975).

The growing ties between the EU and the ACP States survived many critical tests such as the independence process in most African, Caribbean and Pacific states or the turbulences of ideological division during the cold war. However, as another extreme setting the collapse of communism and the intensification of the globalisation process have cast a shadow of doubt on the future of the LC, putting a big question mark on its survival beyond the year 2000.

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Table 1:
Chronology of interactions between the SADC and the EU States within the framework of the Lomé Convention



ACP and OCT Signatories

Southern African

1. Treaty of Rome
Convention of Application
Part IV
Signed: 28.02.1957
Effective: 01.01.1958

EEC 6a

OCTs (31 countries)
* French African dependent states (20)
* Other French dependent states (7)
* Belgian dependent states (2)
* Belgian dependent states (2)
* Italian dependent state (1)
* Netherlands's dependent state (1)


2. Youndé I Convention
Signed: 20.07.1963
Effective: 01.07.1964

EEC 6a

AASM (18 countries)


3. Youndé II Convention
Signed: July 1969
Effective: 01.01.1971
Expiry: 31.07.1976

EEC 6 (+3)b

AASM 18 (+ 1 + 3 countries)
* AASM as under Youndé I
*Mauritius (since 1972)
* East African Communityc


4. Lomé I Convention
Signed: 28.02.1975
Effective: 01.04.1976
Expiry: 01.03.1980


As under
Youndé II

ACP (46 countries)
* African ACP Members (37)
* Caribbean ACP Members (6)
* Pacific ACP Members (l 3)

Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Lesotho, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia

5. Lomé II Convention
Signed: 1979
Effective: 01.01.1981

EEC 9 (+1)d

ACP (57 countries)
* African ACP Members (42)
* Caribbean ACP Members (10)
* Pacific ACP Members (7)

As under Lomé I
plus: Zimbabwe

6. Lomé III Convention
Signed: 08.12.1984
Effective: 01.05.1986

EEC 10 (+2)e

ACP (66 countries)
* African ACP Members (44)
* Caribbean ACP Members (14)
* Pacific ACP Members (8)

As under Lomé II plus Angola and Mozambique

7. Lomé IV Convention
Signed: 15.12.1989
Effective: 1990
Expiry: 21.02.2000

EEC 12 (+3)f

ACP states (70 countries)
* African ACP Members (46)
* Caribbean ACP Members (16)
* Pacific ACP Members (8)

SADC 12–1
As under Lomé III
plus: Namibia
less: RSAh

a … refers to Belgium, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands,
b … Denmark, Ireland and the UK joined the EEC in 1973,
c … through the Arusha Convention of 1968, Tanzania along with its EAC partners Kenya and Uganda became an associate member of the LC, while, in a separate move, Mauritius joined the Convention in 1972,
d … Greece joined the EEC in 1981,
e … Spain and Portugal joined the EEC in 1986,
f … Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU on January 1, 1995,
g … refer to SADC States,
h … though a member of the SADC since 1994, the RSA is not a member of the ACP (there have been difficulties of the RSA's accession to the LC: despite the ACP states welcoming its membership, the EU preferred a separate arrangement with the RSA), FRG refers to the former West Germany.

Source: Matambalya 1997: 72.

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The objective of this paper is to review the past co-operation between the EU and its ACP Associates as well as to deliberate the prospects of future relations between these two groups of countries, focusing on the Southern African region and the SADC economies as a regional grouping within the ACP States. [The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was formally established through a Treaty signed in Windhoek on August 17th, 1992, as a successor organisation of the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC), which, in its turn, was established in Lusaka on April 1st, 1980. The founder members of the SADCC were Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, while Namibia joined the group on April 1st, 1990. The same states became founder members of the SADC. South Africa en tered the organisation on August 29th, 1992 and, with Mauritius having joined as well, the number of members has risen to 12.]

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2. Institutional framework of the EU-SADC co-operation: Overview of the objectives and instruments of the Lomé Convention

Through the LC, the EU and its ACP Associates concluded a voluntary co-operation arrangement to promote and expedite the economic, cultural and social development of the ACP States (Article 1 of the LC). Various provisions focusing on trade and promoting overall economic development constitute important aspects of this arrangement. Besides, the LC clearly transcends the normal economic co-operation sphere and embodies such humanitarian measures as emergency aid (Article 254) and aid for the rehabilitation of returnees and internally displaced persons (Article 255), etc. Emergency aid is allocated to people in emergency situations like drought, flooding and cyclones, whereas aid for the rehabilitation of returnees and internally displaced persons is meant for longer term consequences of emergencies. Though focusing on specific areas, the instruments that are (typically) used under the LC are relevant to the overall economic development of the recipient economies which is due to spill-over effects. [Notably, the LC also enhanced economic integration. Thus, besides its aid and institutional aspects, it embodies elements of a variation of a Preferential Trade Arrangement and may, in a limited sense, be seen as a simplification of the Market or Vinerian Approach to economic integration (cf. Winters 1992: 176, Matambalya 1995: 3738).]

Technically, the trade-oriented provisions of the LC can be divided into direct and indirect trade promotion instruments. Trade promotion measures like preferential tariff and duty-free entry, non-reciprocity, protocols, economies of scale, etc., fall under the former category of provisions, while such commodity arrangements as the STABEX and the SYSMIN, etc. belong to the latter. The objective of direct trade promotion measures is the promotion of trade between the EU and its ACP Associates through predominantly unilateral liberalisation: in exchange for preferential treatment by the EU, the ACP States guarantee their EU partners the status of most favoured nation (MFN). By and large, the direct trade promotion instruments use EU-ACP trade links to encourage transfers of funds from the EU to the ACP through welfare gains from tariff reduction. Therefore, they are rather static in nature whereas regional production cumulation is dynamic in character. [Static gains refer to welfare gains as a result of the price effect of tariff policy as opposed to dynamic gains that refer to gains due to improvements in the efficiency of the allocation of resources and in the factor supply, as well as improvements associated with production possibilities (cf. Pomfret and Toren 1980).]
Conversely, the indirect trade measures do not aim at welfare gains through tariff reduction but are based on direct aid measures: they constitute static transfers of funds from the EU to their ACP Asso-

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ciates to stabilise the foreign exchange earnings of the ACP economies in case of losses from exports.

Measures focusing on the overall economic development represent the other major group of co-operation instruments of the LC. They belong to the development finance programme and focus on the provision of adequate financial resources and appropriate technical assistance to promote development in all spheres of society. Thus, they are part of the aid component of the EU-ACP co-operation. The specific instruments for achieving development goals are further divided up into financial co-operation (Articles 231 to 257), investment (Articles 258 to 274), and technical co-operation (Articles 275 to 280). Together, the three categories of instruments seek to improve the general standard of living, to promote community participation in both the design and implementation as well as in the benefits of development, to preserve natural resources, to enhance technological development, to develop human resources, to reduce the debt burden, to enhance structural adjustment programmes, to eliminate private capital deficits, to support regional co-operation schemes, to combat natural catastrophes through emergence assistance, etc. (Article 220).

© Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | technical support | net edition fes-library | April 2002

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