The charter of the International Centre of Bantu Civilisations (CICIBA) was ratified at a meeting in Gabon's capital, Libreville, on December 11.
SV Vice-President Georges Rawini seated at platform
SVs PAN Delegates at meeting (5 shots)
SVs Members from Zambia, Zaire, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Central Africa and Angola (8 shots)
GV Delegates seated in conference hall
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Background: The charter of the International Centre of Bantu Civilisations (CICIBA) was ratified at a meeting in Gabon's capital, Libreville, on December 11. About 70 delegates from African nations attended the "Round-Table" meeting and the charter, first adopted in January, 1983, was ratified by ten countries -- Angola, Central Africa, Comoros, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Zaire and Zambia. Gabon's President, Hadj Omar Bongo, gave his patronage to the gathering and was represented at the opening session by the First Vice-Premier, Georges Rawini. High on the meeting's agenda were United Nations matters, including the UN development programme and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). UNESCO and its controversial Director-General, Amadou Mbow of Sengal, have come under serious attack for the way he manages its affairs -- particularly from the United States, which seems certain to withdraw its major financial support from the organisation at the end of the year. But Mbow has the solid backing of most African and Third World countries, which form the majority of the UNESCO member states. The Bantu tribal grouping is of particular interest to Gabon: More than a quarter of its approximately one million population is made up of numerous Bantu groups -- mostly living in the south of the country. The adoption of French as the official language and its use in schools has proved a unifying force among these disparate groups.