Changes in the world economy in the period since the mid-1970s had a major impact on all countries dependent on primary product exports, including those in Southern Africa. Co-operation in regional construction, infrastructural and resource development projects could also be of considerable benefit. Development is a notoriously slippery concept. It is generally recognized as referring to an improvement of the human condition in all its aspects—economic, social, educational, intellectual and security. The installation of a representative government in South Africa has removed one major barrier to the development of the kind of equitable and mutually beneficial programme of regional economic co-operation that is needed to promote both security and sustained economic growth in Southern Africa. The acute imbalances and inequities in the existing regional economy have been seen as a barrier to development in Southern African Development Community member countries.