Foreign Ministers of member states of OCAM -- the Common Organisation of African and Mauritian states -- ended on Friday (9 August) their three-day preparations for a summit conference of heads of OCAM states in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.
GVs EXT Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangui (3 shots)
SV' PAN Delegates arriving
MV PAN Delegates seated
SV PAN Delegates from Ruanda
MVs Delegates from Togo and Gabon (2 shots)
GV Delegates applaud
SV PAN & MV President Potolot speaking (2 shots)
MV Ivory Coast delegate and others listening
MV President speaking
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Foreign Ministers of member states of OCAM -- the Common Organisation of African and Mauritian states -- ended on Friday (9 August) their three-day preparations for a summit conference of heads of OCAM states in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic. The ministers, split into four working groups for most of the preparations, were most concerned with the future of the trouble 13-year-old organisation-- and its attitude towards six countries which have withdrawn; five of which were still taking part in OCAM's specialist bodies. The sixth, the Malagasy Republic, gave a year's notice a year ago of its complete withdrawal.
The ministerial conference and the immediately following summit were widely said to be the last OCAM would see. Its attempts in its lifespan to set up common marketing, financial and technical services have largely failed -- due partly to lack of organisation and agreement among its one members, and portly to economic pressures from the outside world, according to African observers and OCAM members themselves.
Aside from recommendations on OCAM's future policies, the most important work done by the ministers was the groundwork for a possible OCAM 'solidarity fund' to guarantee loans from non-member states and help countries struck by natural disasters like drought, as well as provide general aid to members. The ministerial conference was held under the presidency of the Central African Republic's Foreign Minister, Mr. Joseph Potolot.
The member states of OCAM are the Ivory Coast, Dahomey, Gabon, Niger, Upper Volta, Mauritius, Rwanda, Senegal,togo and the Central African Republic. Mauritania, Zaire, the Congo, Chad, Malagasy and Cameroun have resigned.