Transport ministers and other official representative from the three central African countries, Chad, the People's Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic, met in N'Djamena, the capital of Chat on Wednesday (3 July).
GV EXTERIOR Conference building
SV INTERIOR Officials seated
Chad Economic Minister speaking
Congo Minister listens
SV Central African Minister
SV Other officials seated
CU Chad Economic Minister
GV Other delegates seated
CU Congo Minister
CU Central African Minister
SV Delegates seated listening (2 shots)
Initials AE/17.28 AE/17.37
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Background: Transport ministers and other official representative from the three central African countries, Chad, the People's Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic, met in N'Djamena, the capital of Chat on Wednesday (3 July). The purpose of the conference was to discuss the current problems facing the Trans-Equatorial Railway which links all three countries.
The opening session was presided over by Monsieur Abdoulay Lamana, the Chad Secretary of State for the Economy, Commerce and Economic Co-operation. In his opening speech M. Lamana greeted the delegates on behalf of President Tombalbaye and the Government.
He reminded them that they were meeting at the instigation of President Tombalbaye, who had called on the Conference to consider ways in which all three countries could inject a new impetus into the operations of the railways which had suffered a serious decline in freight over the past few years.
He reminded them that the history of the Trans-Equatorial Railway had been important to all three countries as it provided the strongest link between them.
M. Lamana pointed out that the three countries possessed considerable potential natural wealth that was still not exploited. He warned the delegates that unless steps were taken to develop that wealth, their countries would continue to be at a disadvantage when it came to negotiating with richer countries.
President Tombalbaye, said M. Lamana, was convinced that cooperation between the central African states, was an essential part in the liberation of their area. It was now up to the delegates and other government officials to ensure that the right conditions were created for such cooperation to succeed. The TRANS-Equatorial Railway was important because it was a form of communication. Communications were at the heart of human relationships because they made men interdependent.