Zambia, Zaire and Angola have requested more than eighty-four million dollars (U.S.) in aid from?
MV Mr. Fernando Faustino Muteka, Angolan Transport Minister enters conference room and shakes hands with african delegates
MV Belgian delegate talking to colleague
MV Mr. Kawata Bualum - Minister of Transport for Zaire
MV delegates talking
MV delegates talking
CU and MV Mr. Muteka
MV United Kingdom delegation
CU Mr Kingsley Chinkuli, Zambian Transport Minister talking with Mr. Muteka of Angola and Mr. Luis de Almeida - Angolan Ambassador to belgium and Mr. Maurice Foley - EEC Deputy Director-General for Development
MV TRACKING SHOT various delegates seated including Mr. Muteka and Mr. Almeida
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Zambia, Zaire and Angola have requested more than eighty-four million dollars (U.S.) in aid from western countries to re-open a vital trade link - the Benguela railway. The railway links the inland areas of all three countries with the Atlantic. It was closed in 1975 during the Angolan civil war and although officially re-opened in November 1978, the three African states say foreign aid is needed to make it fully operational. They made their request during three days of talks at the European Economic Commission headquarters in Brussels.
SYNOPSIS: Angolan Transport Minister Fernando Muteka and other African delegates know full well the importance of the railway line which links the rich inland copper, cobalt and manganese deposits in Zambia and Southern Zaire with Angola's Atlantic port of Lobito.
Zaire's Minister of Transport, Kawata Bualum has had to resort to flying in food from South Africa because existing railways are congested. Opening the benguela line would allow Zaire and Zambia to import essential supplies ranging from food to fertilizer and machinery. And allow the exporting of minerals so important to western economies. Zambia and Zaire have been forced to stockpile much of their copper.
The African countries are not only concerned with financial problems that prevent necessary repairs and improvements to the Benguela railway. Security is a major worry. Zaire and Zambia want Angola to guarantee the line is safe from guerrilla attacks. These were some of the issues discussed at the Brussels meeting which the EEC described as "exploratory". No final decision was expected to emerge from the three days of talks. EEC sources say the Commission is anxious for the Benguela line to re-open to stimulate the economies of the three African states.