Political Opportunities and Constraints in Inter-State Relations in Southern Africa

This paper deals with some of the political factors which should be borne in mind when discussing the development of resources regionally and on an inter-state level in sub-continent of Africa. In the author’s view, a regional approach to the development of resources is vitally important. In the African situation there are clear advantages in a regional approach for dealing with problems, e.g. of rapid population growth, planning of population control, training, the provision of job opportunities, social services, etc. However, in spite of these obvious advantages of a regional approach, the effective development of meaningful regional co-operation is a difficult and even perilous task, even where there is much greater equality between the parts than in the case of Southern Africa. There is the political dimension, the question of interdependence and dependence, interaction of domestic and international affairs and different social systems and ideologies. Concluding comments state that there must be a more effective input of a positive approach into the policy-making process. Scientists and engineers have a considerable contribution to make by identifying problems, opportunities and being involved wherever possible in the policy planning and decisions.