Trade ministers from African nations in the Commonwealth agreed in Lagos, Nigeria on Friday (16 February) to set up a secretariat to study the problems posed for East Africa by Britain's entry into the Common Market.
GV EXT. Nigerian Institute of International Affairs
CU Sign outside
SV INT. Delegates
SV Sierra Leone delegate & Briggs Federal Commissioner Trade talking
SV PAN Nigerian delegates
SV East African Community delegate
SV Briggs speaking
SV Ugandan delegates listen
SV Tanzania delegate
SV Kenya ditto
SV Briggs speaking
SV Sierra Leone delegate
SV Ghana delegates
SV Delegates applaud
Initials SGM/1637 SGM/1703
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Background: Trade ministers from African nations in the Commonwealth agreed in Lagos, Nigeria on Friday (16 February) to set up a secretariat to study the problems posed for East Africa by Britain's entry into the Common Market.
During the one day meeting, attended by eight of the 12 African Commonwealth nations the trade ministers agreed to work out a united stand on Britain's EEC membership.
Speaking to the meeting, Nigeria's Minister for Trade Mr. Wenike Briggs told the total of thirty delegates that Nigeria opposed any "associate" membership in the Common Market with Britain.
He said the status of an "associate" gave the East African members of the Commonwealth the image of wards or satellites of Britain.
"Nigeria believes that Africa is not an extension of Europe and therefore any association which does not place us on equal footing with Europe is not politically acceptable," Mr. Briggs said.
Following the trade ministers' meeting, a communique said the new secretariat would be supplied sufficient staff to come up with suggestions by the next meeting, set for some time in early May.
Among those nations which sent representatives to the Lagos meeting were: Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Sierra Leone and the host nation, Nigeria.