Although the preceding chapters have dealt with specific issues in contemporary Africa they are, in fact, deeply entwined with one another: development, politics, religion, society and conflict all impact on the nature of the continent. Now global security is a major international concern and it too is a critical factor within Africa. Of course, past years have represented an unsteady period for Africa, often buffeted by, and lacking the confidence and capacity to withstand, differing external pressures. Yet the continent now stands at a crossroads and with appropriate political will it may be able to accept the burden of responsibility for some of its political malpractice. Yet international communities must also recognize the discrepancies in trade practices which limit African development. The cry has gone out that struggling young democracies must not be allowed to fail but that implies that difficult decisions have to be made domestically, internationally and strategically. African states must no more be a virtual playground for terrorist organizations, destabilizing elements, corruption and autocratic governments.