The Benin Republic's first major sports complex has been opened by the nation's President, Mathieu Kerekou.
GV & SV Crowd outside Halle de Sports, Cotonou, Benin Republic (2 shots)
SV Construction sign
SV Officials and ministers arrive for ceremony
SV & CU Arrival of President Kerekou of Benin (in white) (3 shots)
SV Guests applaud
SV PAN FROM Kerekou and ministers seated along guests TO SV Chinese instructors seated (2 shots)
LV & CU Ribbon outside hall and girls waiting with scissors
CU President cuts ribbon and enters hall followed by ministers and guests
GV EXT Stadium
SPORT - GENERAL
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Background: The Benin Republic's first major sports complex has been opened by the nation's President, Mathieu Kerekou.
SYNOPSIS: The sports complex is in Cotonou, the country's capital. It will be the venue for many international events, and government officials say the competition will help to raise the standard of sport in Benin.
President Kerekou, dressed in white, was joined at the opening ceremony by members of the government and the national council, or parliament. Also present was Jean-Claude Ganga, Secretary-General of the African Higher Council for Sport (CSSA), and the secretary-general of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), William Eteki Mboumoue. Chinese instructors, who will be teaching at the complex, were also at the opening. China has a number of co-operation and assistance agreements with the Benin Republic.
The sporting complex is just one part of Benin's major development programmes. The government of President Kerekou has announced plans to help Benin -- formerly Dahomey -- to become a leading African state. The planned developments are in both economic and cultural areas, with the emphasis being placed on the creation of a national identity. The Cotonou sports complex is the fulfilment of one of those plans.