Togo celebrated it's eleventh anniversary of Independence last week with a military parade through the streets of Lome, the capital.
Togo celebrated it's eleventh anniversary of Independence last week with a military parade through the streets of Lome, the capital. The parade was watched by President Etienne Eyadema, and M. Michel Debre, the French Defence Minister. The streets were crowded with families who had come from outlying districts to witness the spectacle, which contrasted armoured troop carriers and military lorries with jugglers and acrobats.
SYNOPSIS: In Togo, the capital was crowded last week to celebrate the eleventh anniversary of independence from France. President Etienne Eyadema presented medals for particularly high achievements in various sectors. Both military men and civilians received the special awards, made for the occasion. Their achievements have been in a variety of fields, especially economic and industrial. Since independence, Togo has expanded rapidly. Some of the necessary funds came from international assistance, and Togo receives benefits from her agreement with the European Economic Community. French funds have helped set up a mining company to exploit the country's phosphate resources - and the Togo government has a share in the development.
At the head of parade, and adding to the holiday atmosphere, a band. The band led the procession through the streets of Lome, and children joined in as the parade took a more military turn.
With President Eyadema was a special guest from France, M. Michel Debre, the French Defence Minister. The two statesmen viewed the military parade, which was composed mainly of armoured personnel carriers, scout cars and military lorries. Also watching the parade was President Hubert Maga of Dahomey. The show of mechanised military force impressed the visitors, who saw also some of the best units of the army.
The holiday atmosphere was enhanced not only by the band and the gaiety that surrounds such an occasion anyway, but by the attractive women from many different parts of the country who were also there. They've employed on projects financed by West Germany as well as France, outside the capital. The new deep water port is one of the new projects, financed with West German aid, that helps the healthy employment figures.
Also in the procession, as is traditional here, were the jugglers, lending their contribution to the celebrations. The military parade was important, but for the family enjoyment that marked the occasion, the jugglers were hard to beat.
After the procession, a three-hour banquet was given by President Eyadema, to end the festivities. M. Debre and President Maga were the main guests...and the highlight of the entertainment was a spectacle of folk dancing celebrating the close ties that remain between Togo and France, in spite of Togo's independence.