Focuses on the issue of scale in the resolution of conflict. It is argued that a focus on the local scale is a useful starting point although resolutions of the contradictions must be faced at all levels of societal interaction. Critical questions such as the nature of the state and its role in development must be addressed. The argument made is that by concentrating on the local scale, solutions to some of the existing blockages to development may be identified. This argument is not new and yet its significance has been ignored by the very different 'blueprints' provided for Africa's future by the Lagos Plan of Action and the World Bank's Agenda for Action. The argument for the focus on local scale and the implications for such a focus is made by considering the following issues: self-reliance, population participation, territorial spatial organization, and finally ecological and environmental concerns. The arguments are made primarily in relation to the rural areas where the vast majority of Africa's peoples live but it is realized that the rural/urban dichotomy is an artificial one as both systems interact with each other.-from Authors