Representatives of 40 developing countries have been attending a meeting organised in Lagos by the Organisation of African Unity to discuss links with the European Economic Community.
GV EXT. Lagos National Hall
MV'S INT. of Delegates seated.
MV'S CU General Gowon speaking.
SV PAN Delegates from Ghana and Ivory Coast.
GV ZOOM TO SCU Mr. Nghaky speaks.
Speech by General Gowon:
"On behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, as well as in the name of the Organisation of african Unity, I welcome you to Nigeria for this Trade Ministerial Conference of the Organisation of African Unity.
"Nigeria feels highly honoured with the presence of such high level and distinguished delegates from Africa and other parts of the world at this very important conference.
"At this stage your deliberations will be primarily concerned with articulating the means for the concerted efforts of Africa in defining and ordering the pattern of the Continent's relations with what has recently emerged as a major economic region of the world, namely the enlarged European Economic Community.
"Africa has now adopted a set of basic principles and norms which should guide your deliberations. These principles have been carefully conceived and devised to provide the negotiating framework for regulating Africa's relationship with other economic and trade groupings in the world, particularly Europe, while fostering co-operation and solidarity among African states themselves and other developing countries of the world.
"We thus have a clear and realistic definition of African consensus on which to develop our common approach on the issues which will be engaging the attention of this conference."
Speech by Mr. Nghaky, OAU Secretary-General:
"We are called upon to give the first concrete expression to our resolve to rid Africa of the shackles of economic imperialism, unwarranted plunder and inhuman exploitation through the formulation of a concrete and practical common African platform for negotiations with the European Economic Community, the biggest single market int he world."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Representatives of 40 developing countries have been attending a meeting organised in Lagos by the Organisation of African Unity to discuss links with the European Economic Community.
The meeting was opened on July 9 by the Head of the Nigerian federal Government, General Yakabu Gowon. It ends today (July 11).
It was attended by the Trade Ministers from African Countries together with observers from three Caribbean States.
They agreed on a joint position in advance of a conference scheduled to be held with the enlarged nine-nation EEC later this month.
The main split had been between the French-speaking African states who already have links with the EEC and the Commonwealth African States who have been offered them following Britain's membership of the Community.
The Commonwealth countries were against trade concessions by Africa -- the so-called reverse-preference system -- and their views prevailed, partly, according to some delegates, because the EEC itself no longer appears to be insisting on reverse preferences.
The Ministers have designated Nigerian Trade Commissioner Wenike Briggs to act as their spokesman at the conference with the EEC which will be held in Brussels on July 25.
The text of speeches in this film is given below: