A meeting of the Organisation of Senegal River States was held last week in Conakry, Guinea, to discuss problems common to the four member states.
A meeting of the Organisation of Senegal River States was held last week in Conakry, Guinea, to discuss problems common to the four member states. Attending the conference ware Presidents Sekou Toure of Guinea, Leopold Senghor of Senghor of senegal, chairman of the meeting, Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania, and the Malian head of state, Lieutenant Moussa Traore.
This was the first conference of the Organisation since its activities were suspended by the coup d'etat in Mali in November, 1968. The delegates discussed plans for the development of the Senegal River basin, building barrages on the river for power, irrigation, navigation, and the improvement of ports at Saint Louis in Senegal, and Boghe and Kaedi in Mauritania.
The main theme of the conference was unity. President Sekou Toure suggested a federation of the four states involving a unification of their Parliaments, armies, currencies and customs, and said that Guinea would be willing to give up its national institutions for the benefits of integration. President Senghor, chairman of the meeting, supported Guinea's proposal and hoped the end of the 1970's would see the unification of the four member states. It was stressed that what united the four countries was more important than what divided them and they could rely only on themselves to change things. The African states were called on to build a real force in the world.
President Traore was nominated President of the Organisation, and Mr. Abdou Diouf, Senegal's Planning and Industry Minister, was made president of the group's Council of Ministers. The leaders adopted a resolution condemning subversive movements within a member state aimed at another member, and a programme for establishing a minimum standard of education in the region received wide support.
The four heads of state expressed their satisfaction with the results of the conference. President Senghor stressed the importance of reciprocal confidence, regular meetings, and diligent application of the resolutions decided upon as an indispensible condition towards integration President Daddah said the conference had been a great success ??? Mali's head of state said he was very pleased that the conference had surpassed his expectations.
After the summit, the Presidents watched a parade staged in support of the conference. Crowds of young people, marching bands, and a champion football team joined in the opportunity to cheer the visiting heads of state and to express their loyalty to their own President.