Africa Notes: Southern African Interdependence - March 1986
March 27, 1986
On January 30, 1986, the fifth annual consultative meeting of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) opened in Harare. Although the approximately 500 delegates - including cabinet ministers from Western donor countries and officials of international organizations - were encouraged by the fact that $1 billion (some 20 percent of the total cost) had been raised for almost 400 development schemes, the talks were overshadowed by the same issue that had brought the regional development organization into being in the first place- the question of how and to what extent the black-ruled countries of southern Africa can move toward economic independence from South Africa. Indeed, even if South Africa were majority-ruled, as SADCC members have stated at various times, there would still be a need for them to diversify their trading and transport links to gain greater independence from the region's economic giant.