In Cotonou, the New Year started with a traditional ceremony of goodwill as government leaders and diplomats presented their best wishes to President Hubert Maga.
MV President Maga greets Apithy and Ahomadegbe
SCU Ahomadegbe speaks to President Maga
MLS President Maga replies to Apithy and Ahomadegbe
MS President Maga shakes hands with other two
GV PAN other ministers including Communications Minister Karl Ahouansou
GV, MS and CU group of ministers with Ahouansou speaking (3 shots)
SV Three Presidential Council Ministers shake hands with departing ministers & then with each other
MLS French Ambassador, M. Louse Delamare addresses President (2 shots)
MLS President Maga replies
CU Ministers listen
SV All shake hands
Initials OS/2212 OS/2227
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Cotonou, the New Year started with a traditional ceremony of goodwill as government leaders and diplomats presented their best wishes to President Hubert Maga. He received greetings first from his two fellow members of the ruling Presidential Council, M. Justin Ahomadegbe and M. Sourou Migan Apithy.
During his New Year's message, President Maga concentrated especially on progress towards improvements in education -- interrupted towards the end of last year by several school strikes caused by disagreement over educational reforms. The head of state announced that 20,000 more children had been given an education last year. He said the four state-run schools evacuated following the strikes would be reopened on January 5 for all children who wanted to work.
SYNOPSIS: In Cotonou, President Hubert Maga receives New Year's greetings from his two fellow members of Dahomey's ruling Presidential Council, M. Justin Ahomadegbe and M. Sourou Migan Apithy. It's a tradition in Dahomey for the head of state to receive the wishers of other government leaders, ministers and diplomats at the start of a New Year. On this occasion, President Maga's message to his people for 1972 concentrated especially on education. Towards the end of last year, the country was troubled by several school strikes caused by disagreement over proposed educational reforms. President Maga announced that the four state-run schools evacuated during the strikes, would be reopened on January 5th for all children who wanted to work.
The Presidential Council receiving the greetings of their ministers. President Maga was able to announces that, despite the strikes, twenty-thousand more children in Dahomey were able to receive an education last year. But he felt that this figure could have been doubled if proposed educational budgets had been accepted.
French Ambassador Louis Delamare, doyen of the diplomatic corps in Cotonou, gave Sturdy's ceremonies an international turn by passing on the best wishes of other ambassadors.