The fifth Conference of African Planners organised by the United Nations' Economic Commission for Africa, opened in the Africa Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday (19 June).
The fifth Conference of African Planners organised by the United Nations' Economic Commission for Africa, opened in the Africa Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday (19 June). The inaugural speech was given by Mr. Robert Kweku Gardiner of Ghana, the E.C.A.'s Executive Secretary.
These periodic meetings of African Planners were first set up when the Unites Nations launched its International Development Strategy in October, 1970. Most African countries felt that, in order for the Strategy to give them the maximum help, it would be necessary for them to draw up forward-looking development plans to provide them with long-terms objectives.
However, when the United Nations' first Development Decade was launched in 1972, most African countries failed to roach their targets for the first year, and now many of them are facing serious problems -- both collectively and individually.
Some of these problems were mentioned by Mr. Gardiner in his inaugural speech. Apart from the impact of the world monetary crisis, the increased price of oil and petroleum products, the chronic balance of payments deficits, there had also been a number of natural disasters---including widespread drought. There were also the related problems of slow economic growth among African countries, and the increasing social tension resulting from mass poverty and growing unemployment.
Mr. Gardiner said that the Conference would have to consider the inadequacy of the necessary material available to them for planning -- such as statistics, national accounts, and the infrequent publication of annual surveys in most African countries. This lack of material made their own work as planners very difficult, especially in reviewing and appraising the present situation.
The Conference will end on Friday, 28 June.