A delegation from the European Economic Community has spent four days in Togo recently, discussing questions of aid and co-operation between the EEC and the West African state.
A delegation from the European Economic Community has spent four days in Togo recently, discussing questions of aid and co-operation between the EEC and the West African state. Togo has had a special relationship with the Community since 1976. Then, it acted as host for the singing of African accords with the EEC -- known as the Lome Agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, one thousand seven hundred million pounds (3,400 million U.S. dollars) worth of EEC aid was due to go to fifty-five countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific by the end of 1979. But it is now clear that the actual amount of aid distributed so far falls short of this figure.
SYNOPSIS: The leader of the EEC delegation M. Claude Cheysson, welcomed at the start of the talks, later admitted that only one fifth of the promised aid had been distributed. When he returned to Brussels after his meeting, M. Cheysson said countries like Togo which expected substantial aid were right to blame what he called, "cumbersome bureaucracy" for the delays. The figures for aid are regarded by observers as an embarrassment for the Common Market -- as the Lome Convention was heralded as proof that the Community was not a rich man's club, by genuinely wanted to help Third World countries with trade and aid.
One area in which Togo has benefitted from aid is in the development of her cement industry.
Togo has considerable deposits of limestone, and in recent years has participated with neighbouring Ghana and the Ivory Coast in a joint project to increase exports of cement. The first factory is already established outside Lome. Community aid here covers not only finance, but also the training of technicians, and eventually will provide a ready market aboard.