Interdependence in Southern Africa
"All around us are the signs of the technological revolution - in communications, transport, industry, weapons and much else. But there have also been vast changes in the international political and economic order, especially since the Second World War. The ending of the colonial system has been one factor which has had a profound impact on the world order, and this has affected Africa in particular. Our own region of Southern Africa has of course, felt the dramatic impact of these world changes, especially since the collapse of Portuguese colonial rule in Africa in 1974. The problems of Southern Africa have now become a world issue, and the region has in a sense become a focal point of the so-called North/South division between the underdeveloped states and the industrialised countries, and also the focal point of East/West competition. I should like to concentrate on some of the factors which draw the different parts of this region together, and which will inevitably act as a counter-force to those political factors which tend to push us apart. There is a very real interdependence in Southern Africa, which has been developing over the years, and whose further development can only be to the benefit of all. Interdependence in Southern Africa can be said to be based primarily on transport links between the different countries in the subcontinent, power generation, trades, labour links, the Southern African Customs Agreement and the intrinsic strength of the South African and Rhodesian economies which serve the constellation of poorer states around them."