France had recently granted independence to most of its former African empire. With the sanction?
France had recently granted independence to most of its former African empire. With the sanction of President Charles de Gaulle, vast areas in West and Equatorial Africa have become independent and 11 new African Republics have come into being. Independence festivities have taken place in the four African states forming the Couseil de l'Entente. Dahomey proclaimed its independence August 2, Niger on August 4 and the Ivory Coast and Upper Volta rejoiced August 8.
In Dahomey, the representative of the French Government, M. Jaquinot, replied to a speech by Premier Hubert Maga. This was followed by colourful displays of tribal dancing a military march-past and a procession in carnival dress.
Prime Minister of Niger, Hamani Diori, accompanied by M. Jaquinot, proclaimed independence at night and then watched an exhibition of performing camels and riders followed by joyous dancing and celebrating.
Independence for the Upper Volta was declared at midnight and M. Jaquinot and Premier Maurice Yaleago stood by as new colours were raised to the mast-head. During the next day M. Jaquinot attended a tree-planting ceremony while festive crowds danced in the streets.
Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, declared independence for his state and then received the golden key of the Governor's Palace from the French representative. A speech by the Premier to the National Assembly was followed by a march-past of the army, school-children and tribesmen in traditional dress.
While independence has been achieved, most of the new African states still need France's financial and technical assistance, France will therefore continue its important business exchanges with the area, will keep many of its nationals there and maintain military bases valuable to the Western alliance.