The first international Development Conference, held in Johannesburg in March 1972, and the book Accelerated Development in Southern Africa that emanated from it, explored the needs for economic, political and social development in various parts of Southern Africa. A number of the contributors presented case studies from other parts of the world, analyses of development planning problems and methods, as well as overviews of related fields such as international trade and investment and the contributions to development made by international organisations. One of the main accomplishments of the 1972 Conference was to create awareness that all nationalities and ethnic groups who live in Southern Africa have a common interest in the development of less developed communities and territories within the region. This interest overrides whatever divergencies may distinguish or separate the population groups concerned. It was further brought out that the essential tasks of development demand an intensification of inter-ethnic co-operation: because the industrial and the farming-handicraft economies in Southern Africa are interlocking and interdependent, the development needed to assure the material, social and cultural future of all peoples in the region demands common efforts, to which the Conference inspired a high sense of dedication.
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