While almost no trade flowed between South Africa and the former SADCC countries before 1991, trade has soared in the region since the transformations of 1993. In the late 1990s, more than 90% of imports to Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 75% to Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia, and more than 70% to Malawi came from South Africa, which has also become the most important destination of exports from these countries.
By noting this reality, however, I do not wish to argue that the economic and political changes in Southern Africa have merely been provided by the global political economy, and to be explained within the dependency paradigm. Rather, I propose that core-periphery relations between the leading capitalistic countries and African countries should be recomposed and understood in terms of local settings. The impact of globalization in Southern Africa, for example, has been localized, or “distorted,” by the predominant regional economic giant, the Republic of South Africa. Similar relationships are also nested within more local levels.
The chapters in this book examine the localized impact of globalization at different levels in Southern Africa. Some authors focus on the historical and political backgrounds essential to understanding the local impact of globalization in Southern Africa. Others, mainly students of the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, discuss how globalization has impacted people and places at the local microlevel.
Since its inception, the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies has emphasized the importance of obtaining first-hand data to grasp the realities of African society, politics, and economy. I hope that the studies included in this book will generate new thinking and contribute to our understanding of contemporary Africa in the globalizing world.
Professor, Department of African Area Studies,
Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies,