Africa Notes: Southern Africa in the Year 2000: An Optimistic Scenario - March 1991
March 28, 1991
Preoccupation with developments in the Gulf, concern over the possible resurgence of hard-liners in the Soviet Union, and the priority being given to the reconstruction of eastern Europe have all but obscured a range of fundamental political and economic changes taking place in southern Africa that are reshaping the future prospects of the region, and over time of the continent as a whole. The consequences of apartheid in South Africa and various levels of conflict and unrest in other countries have suppressed the capacity of this third of the continent to generate long-term, sustainable economic growth: Now, however, a genuinely representative political order in South Africa is a realistic prospect, and negotiations are under way that could end the protracted civil wars in Angola and Mozambique. If these goals are realized, the major impediments to integrated regional development would be eliminated. Although the road ahead is filled with unpredictable twists and turns, the time has come to assess the promise of a post-apartheid southern Africa and to offer an optimistic "what if" scenario.