Southern Africa: Intra-regional and international relations

This article tries to identify some of the major determinants in the foreign policies of the independent Black states of the African sub-continent, which have a bearing on relations between the countries of this region. This means inevitably their relations with South Africa as the power centre. Some factors that affect foreign policies are geography, economics, development assistance, nationalism and unity in the African environment, external pressures, both from inside and outside Africa, as well as internal pressures. The article concludes that the central issue in South Africa’s relations with the region remains the separate development policies of its Government, which is the basic political factor in South Africa’s relations with its Black neighbours. While this remains true, there will never be a deep commitment to regionally oriented development – economic or political – in the sub-continent of Africa.