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  • SADC Facts & Figures

    The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established as a development coordinating conference (SADCC) in 1980 and transformed into a development community in 1992. It is an inter-governmental organisation whose goal is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient productive systems, deeper co-operation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security among fifteen Southern African Member States.

    The SADC socio-economic profile is presented here in empirical data of socio-economic indicators. Economic indicators described here are:

    SADC social indicators represented here are:

    Summary Facts and Figures

    Indicator

    Information

    Indicator

    Data

    Member states

    15

    Trade

    Total Import

    USD $91,608.15 (million)

    Total Export

    USD $89,151.33 (million)

    Year Established

    1992

    Average Government Debt (2011; % of GDP)

    40.4%

    Land Area

    554 919 km²

    Average Life Expectancy (2009)

    55.1

    Total Population

    277 million

    Average HIV Prevalence Rate (2009)

    12.6 %

    GDP Annual Growth Rate (2011)

    5.14 %

    Gender (proportion of seats held by women in parliament)-2011

    34%

    GDP (2010)

    USD $575.5 Billion

    GDP Contribution: Services 51 % 
    Inflation (2011) 7.7 % 

    GDP Contribution: Industry

    32 % 
    Fiscal Balance (2012) -3.6 %  GDP Contribution: Agriculture 17 % 

    *1Source: FAO 2003. State of Forest and Tree Genetic Resources in Dry Zone Southern Africa Development Community Countries. *2 for thePeriod between 2000 and 2010.

    Gross Domestic Product

    The total aggregated SADC real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates are presented in the table below;

    Year

    2000

    2001

    2002

    2003

    2004

    2005

    2006

    2007

    2008

    2009

    2010

    2011*

    GDP rate

    3.46

    2.69

    2.68

    2.98

    4.89

    4.80

    6.16

    6.74

    4.00

    2.20

    5.23

    5.14

    World Development Indicators, *2011 data from SADC CCBG Macroeconomic Information (April 2012)

    Over this period, 2000 and 2011, the GDP growth slowed down significantly in 2009 and picked up again for most member states in 2010.  The average GDP growth for SADC is 5.2%.

    Sector Contributors to GDP

    For the SADC region, service sectors represent half of SADCs’ GDP in the period 2000-2010 and thus are the main driver of regional growth. The table below shows sectors’ contribution to regional GDP in the period between 2000 and 2010.

    Table: SADC Sectors Contribution to Regional GDP (2000 to 2010) 

    Sector

    Services

    Industry

    Agriculture

    % GDP contribution

    51

    32

    17

    Source: World Development Indicators

    Tax Revenue

    Tax revenue as a percentage to GDP varies widely across the SADC region. Angola has less than 0.5% tax revenue over the period under consideration (2005-2010), whereas Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland have the highest tax revenue as % of GDP. In 2010, the highest tax revenue as a % of GDP was 36% (Lesotho), the lowest was Angola at 0.041% and the SADC average was 20%.

    Inflation

    SADC inflation rates, after falling in 2009, picked up in 2010. All countries, except for Angola, DRC and Mozambique have shown some inflationary upwards pressure in the last year. The aggregated inflation rate for SADC is shown below. 

    Year

    2001

    2002

    2003

    2004

    2005

    2006

    2007

    2008

    2009

    2010

    2011

    Inflation rate

    23.1

    29.1

    42.3

    28.0

    29.3

    8.7

    8.9

    13.2

    12.3

    7.3

    7.7

    Sources: World Development Indicators, IMF World Economic Outlook, SADC CCBG Macroeconomic Information

    Fiscal Balance

    The overall fiscal balance (including grants) is calculated as revenue minus total expenditure. The fiscal balance over the last years has fluctuated widely in the different SADC member states. Almost half of the member states end this period with a greater fiscal deficit than in 2004. The figure below shows the SADC Fiscal balance from 2008 to 2012. 

    Year

    2008

    2008

    2010

    2011

    2012

    % GDP

    2.4

    -4.3

    -3.2

    -4.8

    -3.6

    Source: Macroeconomic Policies and Convergence TIFI Directorate: Regional Economic Performance 2011 and Medium Term Prospects (Nat. Authorities Nov 2011, IMF WEO SSA Oct 2011)

    Government Debt

    Government Debt as a % of GDP has halved from nearly 80% in 2004 to 40% in 2010. SADC is well within its macroeconomic convergence target of 60% (see table below).

    Year

    2004

    2005

    2006

    2007

    2008

    2009

    2010

    2011

    % GDP

    79.4

    70.4

    51.4

    46.7

    47.8

    49.0

    36.7

    40.4

    Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, September 2011

    Trade

    SADC total trade has followed a similar pattern to total world trade. Total SADC trade almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2011 from US$ 91089.52 million in 2000 to US$ 353636.4 million in 2011, although there was a sharp decline of more than 25% in 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis.

    Exports and Imports

    Main intra SADC trade export items include petroleum oils, agricultural products, electricity and some clothing and textile products. Main export items to the rest of the world consist of predominantly export of resources (e.g. coal, ferrochromium, manganese ores, platinum, as well as precious metals and diamonds), resource intensive manufactured goods, mainly for the automotive industry, some clothing and textiles, and tobacco.

    The highest share of total SADC exports over time is to the Asia Pacific Market, followed by the EU market. Trade within Africa is the smallest and of this the majority is intra SADC trade (See table below). 

    Table: Overall direction of SADC Exports (2000-2010)

    Regional Economic Community/Continent

    Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

    European Union (EU)

    Rest of World

    Intra-SADC

    Rest of Africa

    % Export

    45

    27

    15

    10

    3

    Source: IMF DOT

    Total intra SADC imports have grown steadily over the past ten years, more than tripling in total. As with intra SADC exports, imports also experienced a significant fall in 2009 due to the global recession.

    Table: Overall direction of SADC Imports (2000-2010)

    Regional Economic Community/Continent

    Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

    European Union (EU)

    Rest of World

    Rest of Africa

    % Import

    45

    27

    15

    13

    Source: IMF DOT

    Life Expectancy

    Although life expectancy has improved over the last ten years in all SADC member states except in South Africa, there are significant variations across the region. Mauritius and the Seychelles continue to have the highest life expectancy at 73 years, whereas the lowest life expectancy is found in Lesotho at only 46.7 years. The average life expectancy in SADC between 2000 and 2009 was 52.8. According to records life expectancy across Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has the highest life expectancy, followed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and SADC.

    HIV Prevalence Rate

    Prevalence of HIV refers to the percentage of people ages 15-49 that are infected with HIV.

    The rates are on a declining trend for the decade (2000 to 2009) under review, except for Swaziland where the rate has increased. At the regional level, SADC records the highest rates, followed by COMESA and East African Community (EAC). ECOWAS has the lowest prevalence rate only averaging 2 % in 2001-2009.

    Labour Market and Employment

    The Labour force participation rate measures the proportion of a country’s working-age population working or actively looking for work.  The lowest percentage of women participating in the work force is in Mauritius; South Africa and Namibia both have a relatively low percentage of working-age population, male and female, working or looking for work. The highest percentage of labour force participation for both female and male is found in Tanzania, (86% and 93% respectively)

    Unemployment rates as a share of total labour force by gender are higher among females than males in all SADC countries. Unemployment among young women is especially high in South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho.

    Gender

    SADC aims to achieve its goals and objectives through mainstreaming of gender in all its programmes and enhancement of the role of women in development. In all SADC countries (where data available) bar Botswana, the percentage of women in national parliament has increased over the last decade. Women are underrepresented in paid employment (outside the agricultural sector). Looking at the proportion of males and females who are employers rather than employees, the proportion of females is lower than that of males in all SADC countries.