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    3 Dec, 2013

    Member State Updates


    The Government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania commemorate the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Day on October 14, so declared as the day that he died on in 1999.Mwalimu Nyerere is one of the Founding Fathers of SADC, in that he was one of nine leaders who, in 1980, established the Southern Africa Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) that was transformed into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on August 17, 1992.Together with his contemporaries former presidents of Botswana and Zambia, Mwalimu Nyerere formed the Front Line States in 1974 to cooperate for common security and majority rule in neighbouring countries. This was a prelude to the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.The ideals of regional cooperation followed Mwalimu Nyerere’s commitment to self-emancipation that led to the independence of his country in 196. This, in turn inspired some of southern Africa’s countries that pursued and achieved political independence by non-violent, namely, Botswana in 1966, Lesotho in 1966, Malawi in 1964, Mauritius 1968, Seychelles in 1976 Swaziland in 1968 and Zambia in 1964. Tanzania, as the host of the Organisation of African Unity Liberation Committee also supported the liberation movements of Southern Africa that pursued independence through armed struggles until independence and majority rule were achieved in Angola and Mozambique in 1975, Namibia in 1990 and Zimbabwe in 1980 and finally, the inhumane Apartheid was dismantled in 1994 in South Africa.


    The Government and the people Botswana celebrated their 47th Independence Day on September 30, 2013. From the 1820s the Boers began their Great Trek across the Vaal River. Confident that they had heaven-sanctioned rights to any land they might choose to occupy in southern Africa, 20, 000 Boers crossed into Tswana and Zulu territory and established themselves as though the lands were unclaimed and uninhabited.
    At the Sand River Convention of 1852, Britain recognised the Transvaal’s independence and the Boers informed the Batswana (people of Botswana) that they were now subjects of the South African Republic.
    Prominent Tswana leaders Sechele I and Mosielele refused to accept white rule and lobbied for British protection and in 1885, thanks to petitions from John Mackenzie (a friend of the Christian Chief Khama III of Shoshong), Britain resigned itself to the inevitable. As a result, The British Government in 1885 put "Bechuanaland" under its protection.

    The capital of the protectorate was established at Mafeking –South Africa – and taxes were introduced. Chiefs were granted tribal ‘reserve’ (jurisdiction over all black residents and the authority to collect taxes and retain a 10% commission on all moneys collected). In 1962, Seretse Khama and the Kanye farmer Quett Masire formed the more moderate Bechuanaland Democratic Party (BDP), soon to be joined by Chief Bathoen II of the Ngwaketse. The BDP formulated a schedule for independence, drawing on support from local chiefs and traditional Batswana.They promoted the transfer of the capital into the country (from Mafeking to Gaborone), drafted a new nonracial constitution and set up a countdown to independence to allow a peaceful transfer of power. General elections were held in 1965 and Seretse Khama was elected president. On September 30, 1966, the country, gained independence as the Republic of Botswana. Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.


    The Kingdom of Lesotho, also known as the Kingdom in the Sky as the entire country lies 1000m above sea level and includes Thabana-Ntlenyana, which at 3482m is the highest peak in Africa south of Kilimanjaro, gained its independence and became the Kingdom of Lesotho in 1966.Formerly known as Basutoland, the country was founded in the 1820s by Moshoeshoe I, uniting various Sotho groups who had fled predation by the Zulu. Having escaped the Zulu, Moshoeshoe brought his people to the stronghold of Butha-Buthe, and then the mountain of Thaba-Bosiu (about 20 miles from Maseru, which is now the capital of Lesotho). But Moshoeshoe had not yet found peace because his Moshoeshoe’s territory was being picked off by the trekboers.

    In an attempt to be prepared for any such conflict in Basutoland, he asked missionaries to come and live among his people as he believed that in this way he could buffer his country against the encroaching Europeans and other African groups.King Moshoeshoe I finally approached the British for aid and in 1884 Basutholand became a British Crown Colony.Moshoeshoe's power and influence grew as he offered a friendly hand to his defeated enemies,giving them land and assistance to cultivate crops. In 1959 Basutoland became a British Colony and was called Territory of Basutoland. It gained full independence from Britain on October 4, 1966 and became known as Lesotho.

    Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy, and it is the Prime Minister who heads government and has executive authority. The king now serves a largely ceremonial function. Letsie III is the current king of Lesotho. He succeeded his father, Moshoeshoe II in 1996.


    On 24 October, 1964 Northern Rhodesia, now known as Zambia, gained independence from Britain. Zambia’s independence came four years after the famous speech “The winds of change” by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The speech signaled that the Conservative-controlled British Government intended to grant independence to many of these territories, which indeed happened subsequently, with most of the British possessions in Africa becoming independent nations in the 1960s.

    The story of British occupation of the area dates back to 1851, when the first Scottish explorer, David Livingstone came to the country. I In 1888, Cecil John Rhodes organized British commercial and political interests in East and Central Africa, where he obtained mineral rights concession from local chiefs.The most important factor in the colony’s economy was copper. The discovery of copper is owed partly to an American scout, Frederick Russell Burnham, who in 1895 lead and oversaw the massive Northern Territories (BSA) Exploration Co. expedition which established for the Western world that major copper deposits existed in Africa.

    During the Second World War white miners came out on strike in 1940. Realising the importance of their products for the war, they demanded higher salaries. This strike was followed by another by African mineworkers. Even before the war, there had been talks about merging the two Rhodesias, but the process had been halted by the British authorities, and brought to an absolute stop by the war. Finally, in 1953, both Rhodesias were joined with Nyasaland (now Malawi) to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Northern Rhodesia was the centre of much of the turmoil and crisis that characterized the federation in its last years. At the core of the controversy were insistent African demands for greater participation in government and European fears of losing political control.

    A two-stage election held in October and December 1962 resulted in an African majority in the legislative council and an uneasy coalition between the two African nationalist parties. The council passed resolutions calling for Northern Rhodesia’s secession from the federation and demanding full internal self-government under a new constitution and a new national assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. On 31 December 1963, the federation was dissolved, and Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on 24 October 1964.

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