SADC Headquarters in South Africa.

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Trade:The Southern African Development Community (SADC)

  • Regional economic grouping can take the form of free trade areas, custom unions, common markets and economic unions.
  • Free trade areas: there are no trade barriers for the member states of the trade area. Member countries are free to engage in trade with other countries outside the trade area for example COMESA.
  • Customs union: trade is more closely arranged and all trade barriers between member states are removed. There is also an element of protectionism where common tariffs are imposed against imports from non-members.
  • Common market: no barrier to trade and there is free flow of labour and capital amongst member states.
  • Economic union: there are common policies for example, currency, pricing policies and taxation.


  • To raise standards of living of the people of Southern Africa through active participation by all members states. Each member state was thus allocated an area of responsibility.
  • To promote regional integration through the implementation of a trade agreement which would allow free movement of goods, services and finance the member states.
  • To change the thrust for development by setting up export oriented industries.
Member statesResponsibilities
AngolaEnergy conservation and development
BotswanaAgricultural research and animal disease control
LesothoSoil and water conservation and land utilisation
MalawiFisheries, wildlife and forestry
Mozambiquetransport and communications
NamibiaSea fisheries
TanzaniaIndustry and trade
SwazilandManpower development and trade
South AfricaFinance and investment
ZambiaSouthern African development fund and mining
ZimbabweFood security

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page