Just twenty years ago on 5 September, 1960, Leopold Sedar Senghor was sworn in as President of independent Senegal.
LV AND GV President Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal and President Charles De Gaulle emerge at front of Elysee Palace
SV PAN Senghor inspects new oil refinery in Dakar and technician explains some of the instruments (2 shots)
GV AND SV Senghor and Mme. Senghor at opening of Marc Chagall Exhibition in Dakar (4 shots)
SV AND PAN Senghor arriving in Theil and greeted by villagers
GV Farmer on HAYSTACK, ZOOM IN Senghor watching hay-making demonstration (2 shots)
GV AND CU Man behind new plough pulled by oxen
SV ZOOM IN Mao Tse-tung, Senghor and Chou En-lai holding discussions (4 shots)
SV Senghor up steps of Elysee Palace
LV AND SV Banquet in Palace, Ivory Coat President Houphouet-Boigny and Senghor seated beside French Prime Minister Barre (2 shots)
LV AND GV Independence celebrations in Dakar, fly-over as military parades past viewing stand
CU Prime Minister Abdou Diouf and Senghor watching
GV Troops in formal dress parade
GV Senghor greeting followers in St. Louis and walking through crowds (3 shots)
GV Banner "Vive le Parti Socialiste" and Senghor addressing crowd (2 shots)
SV Senghor and Nigeria's President Alhaji Shehu Shagari sing communique in Lagos
GV Photographers take pictures as Shagari and Senghor shake hands and delegates applaud (2 shots)
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Background: Just twenty years ago on 5 September, 1960, Leopold Sedar Senghor was sworn in as President of independent Senegal. He is now 73, and hopes to remain in office until the end of his current elected term March 1983.
SYNOPSIS: Senegal, like other French african territories, came to independence under the Presidency of General Charles de Gaulle. before that, Dr. Senghor had served in the french army, and for twelve years was one of Senegal's deputies in the National Assembly in Paris.
France has invested heavily in Senegal since independence, and has helped to give it one of West Africa's more highly developed economies. In 1969, when President Senghor opened a new oil refinery, he was running a one-party state, and had recently suppressed formidable student and trade union unrest.
Opening a Marc Chagall exhibition in Dakar, President Senghor spoke of the painter's close affinity with African art. Despite his French academic background, the President is deeply committed to what he calls "negritude": the special contribution of Africa to world culture.
But this sophisticated, scholarly man owes his political beginnings to the country people of Senegal. His first political party, the Senegal Democratic bloc, won elections to the territorial assembly, long before independence, by cultivating the rural vote. About four-fifths of the population still work on the land, and the President has urged them to modernise their techniques.
1974: President Senghor in China with Chairmen Mao Tse-tung. Both leaders were poets; though senghor had the greater international reputation as a writer. This was the year he won the Apollinaire Poetry Prize. He also holds honorary degrees from thirty universities.
President Senghor has chaired several international organisations including OCAM, the principal French-speaking, grouping in Africa. He and President Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast are the senior members, in years and length of service, in the French African community.
Independence anniversary celebration in Dakar in 1978: the Prime Minister, Abdou Diouf watches with President Senghor. In the 1960s, Senegal was a one-party state with a Presidential constitution. But gradually this has been modified. In 1970, a Prime Minister was appointed for the first time for eight years. Another constitutional change, in 1976, allowed opposition parties to register on certain conditions and contest elections. President Senghor and his party -- now called the Socialist Party after several name changes--still won massive majorities in 1978.
One of his most recent visits was to Lagos, to sign an agreement with President Shagari of Nigeria. Both states are members of the Economic Community of West African States, of which President Senghor is a past Chairman. The two President come from different traditions: Shagari is English-speaking and Moslem; Senghor French-speaking and Catholic. But they found common ground in their mutual desire for co-operation for the development of West Africa.