• Short Summary

    Dahomey is in the process of setting up a new territorial administrative structure to govern the country and many young men have bene appointed to run it.

  • Description

    GV Presidential Palace, Cotonou (2 shots)

    LV INT President Kerekou facing reporter

    CU President Kerekou speaking in French

    "The new administrative organisation intends to give a new shape to the political administrative face of our country, taking into account the formal pledge given in the speech outlining the programme of November 30th 1972. That programme of national reconstruction advocates, on the one hand, the modernisating and strengthening of the former economic, social and cultural structures of the country and on the other hand make the administration more democratic, to fulfil the dean aspirations of the people who expect from the military Revolutionary Government an era of truck social justice and of prosperity in all fields. Therefore the appointment of young men to head the new territorial administration is not mere chance because we are determined to realize the aims we have set in the speech of November '72. The main lines of this programme were concaived and decided in full agreement with the representatives of the nation, including the young. We therefore thought it proper to associate them deeply with the actual implementation of that programme. But we expect they will be humble enough to relate their knowledge to the economic, social and cultural reality of their country. That does mean they must get rid for good of their petit-bourgeois complexes if they really want to constitute the spearhead of the revolutionary struggle waged by the Dahomean armed forces since 26th October 1972.

    We ask them to blend into our society, which faces poverty and destitution, and harmoniously ally their theoretical knowledge to practice in order to avoid being for over doctrinaire intellectuals void of convictions, - mere consumers of imported products. We think it is at that price alone that the young will gain the confidence of the nation to which they owe their education."

    Initials AE/21.42 AE/21.55

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Dahomey is in the process of setting up a new territorial administrative structure to govern the country and many young men have bene appointed to run it.

    The Dahomey President Lieutenant Colonel Mathieu Kerekou, in an interview on Thursday (14 March), said young people had been deliberately appointed to run the new territorial administration to carry out a pledge made to the nation in 1972 - programme of national reconstruction to strengthen the economic, social and cultural structures of the country and at the same time make them more democratic.

    Dahomey's new system of administration does away with the present division into departments, sub prefectures, urban areas and districts.

    The new divisions will be The Province headed by a Prefect representing the central Government; The District run by a district head; The Rural of rural commune, administered by a revolutionary committee headed by a Mayor and The Village or City quarter administered by a local revolutionary committee.

    In the interview President Kerekou was asked what he was expecting from the young men who will run the territorial administration and from the new organisation itself.

    A translation of the Dahomey President's remarks follows:

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