- Southern Africa
Southern African Development Community(SADC)] Southern Africa is the southernmost regionof the African continent, variably defined by geographyor geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories – including the Republic of South Africa, a successor countryto the Union of South Africa.
Definitions and usage
UNscheme of geographic regions, five countries constitute Southern Africa:
The region is often reckoned to include other territories:
Angola– also included in Central Africa
Mozambiqueand Madagascar– also included in Eastern Africa
Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe– sometimes included in Southern Africa and formerly of the Central African Federation
Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles, Mayotte, and Réunion– small island territories in the Indian Oceanand near East Africamainland.
Democratic Republic of the Congoand Tanzania, though more commonly reckoned in Central and Eastern Africa respectively, are occasionally included in Southern Africa. "Apropos", the Southern African Development Community(SADC) was established in 1980 to facilitate co-operation in the region, which includes all of the above except Comoros (totalling 15 members).
Southern African Customs Union(SACU), created in 1969, comprises the five countries in the UN subregion of Southern Africa.
The term "Southern Africa" was also used to refer to South Africa and the "independent"
Bantustans that were re-incorporated into South Africa following the end of Apartheidin 1994. Fact|date=February 2007
Another geographic delineation for the region is the portion of Africa south of the Cunene and
Zambezirivers – that is, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and the southern half of Mozambique. This definition is most commonly used in South Africa. Fact|date=February 2007
Some sources consider all of the countries south of the equator as being part of Southern Africa. [http://www.southernafricadirect.com]
The terrain of Southern Africa is varied, ranging from forest and grasslands to deserts. The region has both low-lying coastal areas, and mountains.
In terms of natural resources, the region has the world's largest resources of
platinumand the platinum group elements, chromium, vanadium, and cobalt, as well as uranium, gold, titanium, ironand diamonds.
The region is distinct from the rest of Africa, with some of its main
exports including platinum, diamonds, gold, and uranium, but it is similar in that it shares some of the problems of the rest of the continent. While colonialismhas left its mark on the development over the course of history, today poverty, corruption, and HIV/ AIDSare some of the biggest factors impeding economic growth. The pursuit of economic and political stability is an important part of the region's goals, as demonstrated by the SADC.
The region has a wide diversity of ecoregions including
grassland, bushveld, karoo, savannaand riparian zones. Even though considerable disturbance has occurred in some regions from habitat loss due to human overpopulation, and there remain significant numbers of various wildlifespecies, including White Rhino, lion, leopard, impala, kudu, blue Wildebeest, Vervet monkeyand elephant.
Culture and peoples
Southern Africa is home to many cultures and people. It was once populated by San,
Namaquaand Pygmiesin widely-dispersed concentrations. Due to the Bantu expansionwhich edged the previous peoples to the more remote areas of the region, the majority of ethnic groups in this region, including the Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Ndebele, Tswana, Sotho, and Shona people, BaLunda, Mbundu, Kikuyuand Luo, speak languages which share common Bantu language traits. The process of colonization and settling resulted in a significant population of European ( Afrikaners, Anglo-Africans, Portuguese Africans, etc.) and Indian descent ( Cape Malays, Koreans, Tamils, etc.) in many southern African countries.
History of Southern Africa
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