The heads of state of the five member countries of the African Entente Council have been meeting in the Togolese capital of Lome.
GV Entente Council leaders arriving in motorcade and waving to crowds lining the streets in Lome
GV Motorcade arrives at President's Palace (2 shots)
GV Large banner and crowd outside the palace
SV INT Niger President Seyni Kountche seated next to Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouet-Boigny
SV PAN FROM Houphouet-Boigny signing TO Togo President Gnassingbe Eyadema signing, Upper Volta President Aboubakar Sangoule Lamizana signing, Lt. Col. Barthelemy Ohouens of Benin signing
SV Minister of Foreign Affairs Edem Kodjo reading communique
SV General Eyadema
SV Heads of state applaud
The official communique also said that eight million CFA francs (16,000 U.S. dollars) had been contributed to the various projects by France, the United States and the Netherlands. The Council's funds, it said, would be kept for summits, administration, "economic interventions", social investments and the repayment of interest on loans. The delegates have decided to give each country a quantity of medical supplies, and they agreed to keep the membership payments at a yearly amount of 673 million CFA (1.4 million U.S. dollars). Before leaving for the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan at the end of the conference, President Houphouet-Biogny said: "Our community, which will soon be 20 years old, has become a big one. It has lived without knowing a crisis of conscience, which is a rare precedent in an Africa, which is full of change."
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Background: The heads of state of the five member countries of the African Entente Council have been meeting in the Togolese capital of Lome. The Council is a political and economic organisation and its members are Benin, the Ivory Coast, Niger, Upper Volta and Togo. The heads of state met for two days under the chairmanship of the Togolese President, Gnassingbe Eyadema, and they agreed to the implementation of a five-year water supply programme.
SYNOPSIS: It was the first summit of Entente Council leaders since they met in the Ivory Coast in February 1976. Four heads of state were present, the presidents of the Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Niger and Togo. Benin, in the absence of President Mathieu Kerekou, was represented by the Minister of Industry and Crafts, Lieutenant-Colonel Barthelemy Ohouens. The conference was held in the President's palace in Lome, and its aims were to promote economic development in the five countries, as well as implement specific projects.
Niger's President Seyni Kountche, and President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast were two of the signatories to the communique issued at the end of the summit. It was also signed by President Eyadema, President Aboubakar Sangoule Lamizana of Upper Volta and Lieutenant Colonel Ohouens, and stated that they had noted with satisfaction the implementation of a rural development programme comprising 19 projects dealing with breeding, food production and piped water.
Mr. Edem Kodjo, the Togolese Foreign Affairs Minister, read the communique, which announced the installation of 1,000 piped water supply projects in each country. This would take five years, and the money for the project still had to be found.