oa Africa Insight - War and the decline of Africa

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



South Africa has long enjoyed substantial economic and commercial contact with most African states, even though for political and diplomatic reasons these have often been kept out of the public eye. As a result, for many South Africans the rest of the continent has remained dimly understood and of little interest, except inasmuch as it constituted either a vague threat or the ill-defined shape of things to come. President de Klerk's speech to Parliament on 2 February 1990, and the events flowing from it, have dramatically altered foreign perceptions of the South African government's political intentions and allowed a relaxation of the diplomatic isolation to which South Africa had fallen victim since leaving the Commonwealth.

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