oa Africa Insight - Lessons of regional cooperation in Africa

Volume 9, Issue 3-4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Co-operation between states in southern Africa is already a reality. There is, however, an urgent need for a fundamental reflection on a future institutional framework in which economic, political and other co-operation can take place in the southern African region. We are barely aware of the problems that will inevitably and increasingly come to the fore as more homelands gain their independence, and the countries south of the Zambesi and the Kunene become more closely linked. Ideals such as a ""United States of South Africa"" or a ""Southern African Common Market"" may well catch the imagination but there are numerous pitfalls in uninformed imagination. Above all it should be remembered that an attempt is being made to bring sovereign states together in an enterprise about which the other states may well have other ideas. Even if there was a high degree of unanimity on the goals among the states involved there are still countless practical problems that could wreck the best plans.

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