INTRODUCTION Ministers from 47 countries are in Zaire for the fourth biannual conference of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
INTRODUCTION Ministers from 47 countries are in Zaire for the fourth biannual conference of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The commission is a United Nations regional organisation which initiates and takes part in programmes for Africa's economic development. The conference opened in Kinshasa on Friday (25 February).
SYNOPSIS: Zaire's President, Mobutu Sese Seko, is host for the conference. He has been among those leaders of developing nations who have called in the past for a new world economic order. He repeated that call when he addressed the ministers on the opening day and said that the members of the Economic Commission for Africa could play a major part in any change in the world's economic system if they could develop a united plan. The ECA co-operates with a number of other international groups in African projects in its aim to provide a stronger economy for the continent. An African Joint Agriculture Division has been formed in conjunction with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and a programme has been launched for a pen-African telecommunications system.
President Mobutu said in his opening address that the ECA should pay more attention to the interests of Africa. He said that the world economy had been ill for some time and Africa should not rely on it if the continent were to develop economically. President Mobutu demanded that the ECA give urgent consideration to an assistance programme for the particularly poor countries of the Sahel region. It was not acceptable, he said, that those countries should have to confront their problems alone.
The President suggested that in future the various African organisations should co-ordinate their work to ensure speedier economic development throughout the continent.