Niger is holding its first international trade fair in the capital, Niamey. 19 countries are represented and there are more than a hundred stands.
The fair and the stands of: Tunisia, Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, West Germany, United States, United Arab Republic, France, Mali, and Upper Volta.
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Background: Niger is holding its first international trade fair in the capital, Niamey. 19 countries are represented and there are more than a hundred stands.
The fair stands on a three acre site which is normally used as the main market of Niamey -- and it served this function until a few days ago. Then up went the stands and exhibits, and the fair was opened on Friday. M. Barkire Halidou, Minister of Economic Affairs, Commerce and Industry, opened the fair by cutting the traditional ribbon.
The Tunisian stand was of particular importance, since President Bourguiba began a three-day official visit to Niger yesterday (Sunday). The Tunisian stand had a variety of goods on display, including carpets and trays made by craftsmen.
The Senegal stand had a most valuable display of jewellery, gold and silver.
Nigeria's Minister of Commerce for the Northern Region personally attended the trade fair to help trade relations between Nigeria and Niger.
The Ivory Coast had a variety of goods on show. Although mainly an agricultural country, diamond fields are now being exploited there.
West Germany and the United States showed goods mainly in the scientific field, but Ghana's wide-range of products showed interesting handiwork and a fine selection of materials.
From the United Arab Republic came food products and industrial goods, including bicycles and light commercial vehicles.
Niger, of course, had a huge selection -- a shop window for the world. Agriculture is the dominant part of Niger's industry, but there was a good display of native art work and numerous exhibitions.
France had much to offer the visitor. Until 1960 Niger was part of French West Africa. It became independent in August that year and was admitted to the United Nations in September.
Niger's first fair is an effort to combine the modern machinery and invention of the space age, with the beautiful artisan crafts of rural Africa.