In Upper Volta, parades and celebrations marked the eighteenth anniversary of independence on Tuesday (12 December).
In Upper Volta, parades and celebrations marked the eighteenth anniversary of independence on Tuesday (12 December). Formerly a province of French West Africa, Upper Volta became a self-governing republic within the French community in 1958, and fully independent tow years later. The present governments is headed by the President, General Sangoule Lamizana.
SYNOPSIS: Upper Volta is one of the poorest nations of the world. But, on independence day, people from all parts of the country converged on the capital, Ouagadougou, to watch and participate in the celebrations. The military are prominent in the country, their armed forces numbering just over three thousand, with a paramilitary support of two thousand. Military service is compulsory.
In February 1974, the army took over, and the June 1970 constitution was suspended. All political activities wear banned, but freedom of the press, labour unions and worship were guaranteed. But in the past few years, greater areas of civilian control have been brought back. For instance, since 1976, civilian authorities have looked after local government. A referendum in November 1977 saw the return of a presidential democracy. Seen here marching are the local women's federation groups.
The government encourages programme of physical fitness and health, and one group of marchers represented the best of Upper Voltese athletes in several sports.
And children took an active part in the festivities. Education in Upper Volta is free, but not compulsory. About thirteen per cent of the juvenile population receives some schooling. As the country heads towards its second decade of independence, the education of its children is a major priority.