Government officials and experts from all over Africa called this week for fundamental change in the relationships between developed and developing nations which were "inherently unjust".
Government officials and experts from all over Africa called this week for fundamental change in the relationships between developed and developing nations which were "inherently unjust". The experts were attending a four day meeting in Africa Hall, Addis Ababa to prepare for the Conference of African Trade Ministers on the Fifth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development which will meet next week.
SYNOPSIS: The delegates were told by Ato Abebe, the Ethiopian permanent Commerce Secretary who opened the meeting, that the last U.N. trade conference had been disappointing.
Resolutions alone could not satisfy the hopes of Africa. African energies must be mobilised through collective self-reliance.
Mr. P.O. Etiang, an assistant secretary general of the Organisation of African Unity said the world economic system urgently needed revolutionary change to make it fair. And the surest way for African nations to get fair international trade terms and a new world economic order was by developing interdependence.
Other speakers called for increased economic and technical cooperation between African countries. The strength of Africa and the third world lay in solidarity and third world nations must flex their muscles to exercise leverage in negotiations.
Dr. Adebayo Adedeji, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, presided over Tuesday's opening session. He urged that each African country must strive to establish a new economic order at home in order to create a new international order.
Dr. Adedeji said commendable efforts had been made by African countries but the validity of some previous economic approaches could be questioned. The fifth United Nations conference on trade and development opens in Manila in May. U.N. officials have expressed optimism about the conference after the West agreed in principle to cancel government debts for the world's least developed nations. Several nations, including Britain and Japan have promised to cancel some outstanding debts, but disagreements still exist on the issue.