Togolese foreign Minister Edem Kodjo has been elected as the new Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity.
GV Organisation of African Unity Secretary-General Edem Kodjo at news conference.
MCU Kodjo speaking in French.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Togolese foreign Minister Edem Kodjo has been elected as the new Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity. On Tuesday (27 February) he defended the OAU against its critics at a news conference in Nairobi during the current session of the OAU Council of Foreign Ministers, saying that without the organisation some countries would not have achieved independence.
SYNOPSIS: He highlighted liberation at the beginning of his speech --
--saying that there were many African countries still under colonial domination and that the OAU had an obligation TO HELP WHAT HE CALLED "the last bastions" of colonial rule in their liberation struggle.
He quoted Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), Namibia and South Africa as examples of this situation and said that the OAU was mobilised to put the emphasis of its activities on liberation and that it would play a fundamental role in this respect.
Honsieur Kodjo went on to talk about other aspects of the OAU's work, saying that it had made efforts to promote action in social, cultural and economic spheres, but that despite this, the accent still remained on liberation. He outlined plans for a cultural programme and said that in the realm of economics they had specialist units working to specific briefs. On the subject of inter-African co-operation he said that the OAU's role was significant, but that above all it must look to the hopes and aspirations of the African people. In conclusion he emphasised that these aspirations were focused on economic development.