Ten years after its bold start, an economic bloc of Front-line States fighting apartheid is shifting its strategy. Spurred by political reforms in South Africa, neighboring states now are preparing to include the regional giant in efforts to promote growth and political stability.
ANGOLA Nominally Marxist-Leninist state has begun talks with US-backed UNITA rebels. Largest and most efficient Army in sub-Saharan Africa. Major export: oil. Population: 9 million. BOTSWANA Economic policies have resulted in one of the most buoyant economies in region. Resisted South African pressure to sign nonaggression pact. Mainly desert. Main export: diamonds. Population: 1.3 million. Independent in 1975. LESOTHO Kingdom ruled by military junta. Main export: migrant workers employed in South African gold mines who account for 40 percent of country's GNP. Population: 1.8 million. Independent in 1966. MALAWI Peasant-based economy under autocratic rule of leader Hastings Banda since 1964. Hosts 1 million refugees from Mozambique. Population: 8.4 million. MOZAMBIQUE Former Marxist-Leninist state with devastated economy embracing reforms. Rich agricultural potential. Exports: cashews, prawns. Population: 15.7 million. NAMIBIA SADCC's newest member. Dependent on South African transport links. Africa's most democratic constitution. Main exports: diamonds and uranium. Population: 1.5 million. SWAZILAND Landlocked kingdom bordering South Africa. Signed nonaggression pact with Pretoria and part of its sanction-busting network. Population: 0.7 million. Independent in 1968. TANZANIA Only SADCC state beyond South Africa's sphere of influence. Provided alternative transport route via Tazara railway since 1976. Population: 24 million. Independent in 1961. ZAMBIA Country close to economic collapse after drop in copper prices. Ruled since 1964 by autocrat Kenneth Kaunda, popular as African statesman, but not inside Zambia. Export: copper. Population: 7.8 million. ZIMBABWE Strongest SADCC economy. Nominally socialist, but pragmatic policies have retained confidence of white population. Against the trend, President Mugabe seeks creation of one-party state. Exports: coal, nickel and tobacco. Population: 9.8 million.