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The prevailing poverty in the SADC region is no secret, although these countries obviously dispose of a variety of un- or under-utilised resources. Its economic potentials are manifested by resource endowment, market considerations, industrialisation potential and economic production significance, as well as a sound political record. Concerning nominal resource potentials, Southern Africa boasts some of the most valuable mineral resources in the world, including gold, asbestos, bauxite, chromite, coal, cobalt, copper, diamonds, ferro-chrome, iron ore, lead, manganese, nickel, oil, platinum, silver, tanzanite, tin, zinc, etc.
[Even excluding the RSA, the other SADC countries are producers of a significant global share of minerals: diamonds (18.7 percent), cobalt (15 percent), ferro-chrome (7.2 percent), asbestos (4.8 percent), chromite (4.6 percent), nickel (4 percent). The shares of the world's known reserves of minerals located in the RSA are 13 percent of copper, 24 percent of diamonds, 47 percent of gold, 82 per cent of manganese, 69 percent of platinum, 55 percent of chrome, 69 percent of platinum, 11 percent of titanium, 10 percent of uranium, 33 percent of vanadium, and 16 percent of zirconium (cf. SADC: "A framework and strategy for building the community": 29, place and date of publication not specified).]
Furthermore, the region's population, currently estimated at over 120 millions, provides a substantial economic base. By integrating neighbouring economies like Kenya, Uganda, the Comoros, Madagascar, and the Seychelles for membership, the expanded market of East and Southern African Economies will have a staggering population of more than 180 million inhabitants. Despite poor purchasing power, a market of such proportions should be strong enough to support modest levels of industrial development, boosting the region's production, the domestic as well as the foreign trade sector.
On the whole, the SADC region is slightly more industrialised than other low income countries, and a little more industrialised than Africa in general. Manufacturing accounts for a significant share of the GDP in the region and is growing relatively rapidly. Between 1965 and 1980, it grew at 6.2 percent a year (cf. Matambalya 1995: 166, Peet 1984: 2838). Later developments show impressive manufacturing ratios of GDP for some economies in the region: In 1993, Lesotho registered a manufacturing to GDP ratio (in constant 1980 market prices) of 13.1 percent, and the corresponding figures in 1994 for Malawi (at factor cost and constant 1978 prices), Namibia (in 1985 market prices) were 13.3 percent, and 15.7 percent respectively (SADC 1994). The SADC's significance in the African Continent's productive activity is underlined by its continental GDP share of 28.8 percent in 1989, compared to its continental population share of about 19 percent (cf. SADC: "A framework and strategy for building the com-
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munity": 29, place and date of publication not specified).
Finally, Southern Africa displays relatively good political records, particularly if compared to the massive aggressions of the apartheid regime in South Africa, and the overall hostile international environment which characterised the cold war era. Despite these problems, the leaders of the region managed to mould instruments of co-operation that kept the region together: Partly under the umbrella of the 'Front-line States' and partly under the SADCC and later the SADC, they gave rise to the idea of regional identity and common destiny. Therefore, Southern Africa was virtually the only African region to resist the temptations of military dictatorship, despite being one of the regions that were most ardently fought for during the cold war. Therefore, new chances for development were opened by the political reforms in the region, whereby the emergence of a democratic and secular RSA earmarked a turning point for the better. Thus, all in all, the region's internal base for development leaves room for optimism.
Despite the pessimistic view of the changing circumstances, considering the historical maturity of EU-SADC relations, their continuation is desirable for several reasons. While there is no doubt that the SADC States will stay in need for humanitarian aid, the essence of the continuation of EU-SADC co-operation clearly transcends humanitarian considerations and embodies economic, political and other aspects. In the economic sphere, the Southern African economies are in general closely integrated into the EU not only through trade and investments but also along with institutional co-operation. Yet, the bulk of links materialise through the engagement of TNCs and TCCs. To the mutual benefits belong, among others, the economic rent accruing to the SADC economies through the LC instruments and the engagement of TCCs (which augment the region's capital and skills, thereby facilitating the economic utilisation of some of the region's resources) on one side, and, on the other side, the resource flows to the EU through profits, dividends, expatriate salaries, production and trade surpluses, and transfer pricing practises (cf. Matambalya 1997: 199200, Matambalya 1995, Mcbain 1992, Østergaard 1989, Agarwal 1985).
Also, there is a mutual political quest for the continuation of EU-SADC links to uphold long-term stability in the region. As long as such inherent features of the colonial past as economic and welfare disequilibria constitute latent sources for social tension in the region, co-ordinated actions on a broader base will be needed to eliminate them. In this scenario, the EU might play a key role. Although the centre of gravity of the interests of the EU in Southern Africa is unmistakably the RSA (presumably due to the largest concentration of European immigrants there) and therefore, the EU would prefer a separate deal in delinking the country from the rest of the SADC States, the RSA is and will stay an integral component of the socio-economic system of the Southern African region. Consequently, it should be treated as such. The apartheid experiment has verified that the RSA cannot exist as an island of prosperity and stability within a sea of poverty and instability. Long-term security and stability can only be attained through regionally co-ordinated economic, political, and social programmes, which the SADC has been trying to attain throughout its existence (cf. Matambalya 1997: 200).
From a moralistic point of view, different elements justify further engagement of Europe in Southern Africa. First, the interest groups in the EU were instrumental in the historical process which shaped the Southern African region as we know it today. Furthermore European assistance along the line of moral responsibility is
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justifiable to the degree that the EU is to blame for the economic, the political and the social misery in the region (Hveem 1989: 181197, Grynberg 1996). Second, the growing intensities of international interactions have strengthened the awareness of the global society of key problems threatening the survival of the human race and of reinforced world-wide solidarity (Dauderstädt and Kesper 1996). Third, in future, the SADC may further benefit from co-operation due to the remarkably improved internal and external environment after the end of the cold war. Therefore, it would be ironic if the EU abandoned its SADC Associates at the time they need it most (Matambalya 1997: 179180). Finally, confidence in development itself constitutes a key motive to keep the SADC region on the development policy agenda of its foreign partners including the EU, since development is the most effective way to prevent crisis (Matambalya 1997: 180, Frisch 1996: 3).
Further interactions embrace globally co-ordinated actions to tackle a wide range of issues of global importance. Outstanding issues of joint concern are dealing with environmental and ecological protection, bearing in mind the transregional and transcontinental impact of national sources of pollution. Similar concern should be devoted to the global population dynamism. Given the current pattern of distribution of global production, the population development does not match with the dynamics of the global economic development. These and similar issues of global importance are not to be left to be interpreted as national issues.
Both the history and the evolution of EU-ACP relations are illustrative for their dynamism. In the past, key historical events which led to the emergence of primordial economic interactions between the EU and its foreign Associates and to the eventual processes, characterised the transformations in the international system and, subsequently, had proximate effects on the form of relations between the EU and its ACP Associates.
[Notably, from the time when primordial economic interactions between the EU and its foreign Associates began, the EU-ACP links were correspondingly shaped by such events as the colonial order, the cold war, the nominal independence process in many overseas territories under European colonial administration, etc. As highlighted, the shift from AASM to Youndé I was, among others, necessitated by the independence process in most OCTs in the early 1960s. Likewise, the UK's access to the EEC in 1973, that was associated with the proliferation of the membership of the EEC's Associates and the inception of the acronym ACP, brought substantial change as well.]
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© Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | technical support | net edition fes-library | April 2002