Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics, and including several countries. The term southern Africa or Southern Africa, generally includes AngolaBotswanaEswatini(Swaziland), LesothoMalawiMozambiqueNamibiaSouth AfricaZambia, and Zimbabwe, though Angola may be included in Central Africa and Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe in East Africa. From a political perspective, the region is said to be unipolar with South Africa as a first regional power.

UN scheme of geographic regions and SACU

In the United Nations scheme of geographic regions, five states constitute Southern Africa:

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU), created in 1969, also comprises the five states in the UN subregion of Southern Africa.

SADC membership

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established in 1980 to facilitate co-operation in the region. It includes:

  1.  Angola
  2.  Botswana
  3.  Comoros
  4.  Democratic Republic of the Congo
  5.  Eswatini (Swaziland)
  6.  Lesotho
  7.  Madagascar
  8.  Malawi
  9.  Mauritius
  10.  Mozambique
  11.  Namibia
  12.  Seychelles
  13.  South Africa
  14.  Tanzania
  15.  Zambia
  16.  Zimbabwe

Culture and people

Southern Africa is home to many cultures and people. It was initially populated by indigenous or native Africans SanKhoikhoi and Pygmies in widely dispersed concentrations. Due to the Bantu expansion which edged the previous native African peoples to the more remote areas of the region, the majority of African ethnic groups in this region, including the XhosaZuluTsongaSwaziNorthern NdebeleSouthern NdebeleTswanaSotho, and Shona peopleBaLundaMbunduOvimbunduChaga and Sukuma, speak Bantu languages. The process of colonization and settling resulted in a significant population of native European (AfrikanerBritishPortuguese Africans, etc.) and Asian descent (Cape MalaysIndian South Africans, etc.) in many southern African countries.

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