ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Trade:The benefits and problems facing SADC
- The countries collectively from a large regional market.
- Jointly, the countries have a diverse resources base. If exploited fully these would stimulate rapid economic growth within the region.
- Bilateral trade between member states.
- There are good prospects for expanding the transport infrastructure linking all member states.
Problems of regional integration within SADC
- Political instability in some member states for example, Angola whose economy has been destroyed by many years of internal civil wars. Land reform programmes in Zimbabwe and the subsequent negative publicity has eroded Zimbabwe’s capacity to promote food security.
- Most countries are generally poor and rely heavily on agriculture and international aid. These countries also have serious problems of foreign debts.
- There is no free movement of goods among member states. Countries still maintain complex tariff and trade regulations. This has often caused some friction between member states for example Zimbabwe and South Africa and Zimbabwe and Botswana.
- South Africa is the most economically advanced country within the region and it dominates the flow of goods to other countries. By flooding the regional market with cheaper goods, South Africa may indercut smaller and less efficient industries within the region for example the Textile and footwear industries in Zimbabwe.
- Wide regional disparities and general trade dependency on developed countries makes regional intergartaion difficult.
- There is still a heavy dependency on South Africa in areas of transport and mining.
- Natural disasters such as floods caused by tropical cyclones and frequent droughts have had adverse effects on the economies of these countries.
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