President Felix Houphouet-Boigny presided over celebrations held this year in the capital, Abidjan, to mark the fourteenth anniversary of the independence of the Ivory Coast.
LV&CU President Houphouet Boigny arrives in open car
SV&CU Dancers watch as President greeted (2 shots)
SV&CU Band precede military parade (3 shots)
SV PAN from people in stands to military cadets passing
SV PAN FROM band TO troops passing
SV PAN Motor cyclists pass
SV Armoured vehicles and jeeps passing
LV&SV Athletes (3 shots)
LV&SV Women march past (3 shots)
LV&SV Agricultural floats (5 shots)
Initials ET/1522 ET/1552
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Background: President Felix Houphouet-Boigny presided over celebrations held this year in the capital, Abidjan, to mark the fourteenth anniversary of the independence of the Ivory Coast.
Up to 1973 the anniversary was marked on 7 August, but the new date (7 December) was selected last summer, partly to avoid conflict with summer holidays and partly to coincide with the anniversary month of the proclamation of the Republic.
Festivities started on Friday (6 December) with the Ivory Coast Football Cup Final, followed by dances. The Stella Soccer Club of Abidjan won the cup by beating Africa Sports 2 - 0.
On Saturday, President Houphouet-Boigny took salute at a military march-past, which was followed by a civilian parade and a procession of mobile agricultural displays.
SYNOPSIS: President Felix Houphouet-Boigny presided over celebrations in Abidjan, capital of the Ivory Coast on Saturday, to mark the fourteenth anniversary of the country's independence. This is the first time that the festivities have taken place on December the seventh. In previous years they have been held on August the seventh. The new date coincides with the anniversary month of the proclamation of the republic.
The celebrations were described by an Ivory Coast newspaper as "simple, but not without dignity and enthusiasm." One of the highlights was a military march-past with bands playing. Both regular soldiers and young cadets took part. The previous day the festivities started with the Ivory Coast Football Cup Final, which was won by the Stella Club of Abidjan.
The parade lasted for two hours and included a police contingent and a convoy of armoured military vehicles and jeeps. President Houphouet-Boigny took the salute and was accompanied by distinguished Ivory Coast citizens and foreign diplomats.
A civilian parade followed, with athletes walking in procession and a graceful display from Association of Ivory Coast Women.
Rapid economic growth in the Ivory Coast since the independence has been accompanied by an equally fast population growth rate and increased urbanization.
Although many light industries have been established in recent years, with a consequent cut-back in imports. the Ivory Coast is still primarily an agricultural nation. Emphasis on this in the independence day celebrations took the form of these impressive mobile agricultural displays.