President leopold Sedar Senghor formally resigned on Wednesday (31 December) as Senegal's head of state.
SV President-elect Mr. Abdou Diouf of Senegal arriving at TV Centre for schools in Dakar, (1977)
SV Mr. Diouf cutting ribbon at school opening
CU Sign on school building
LV INTERIOR Mr. Diouf with TV school staff PAN TO video monitors (2 shots)
SV Operator at controls and Mr. Diouf meeting technicians (3 shots)
CU Mr. Diouf welcoming Queen Juliana of Netherlands at Dakar airport in November, 1977, and dancers perform as Mr. Diouf, Queen Juliana and husband Prince Bernhard walk across tarmac (3 shots)
SV INTERIOR Mr. Diouf enters hall and takes seat as chairman of Ninth islamic Foreign Ministers Conference in Dakar (April 1978)
GV Conference delegates. Mr. Diouf speaking from rostrum (2 shots)
GV Independence day parade on 18th anniversary of Senegal (April 1978). Band and troops parade.
CU President-elect Diouf on left talking to retiring President Leopold Sedar Senghor, as they watch parade"
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Background: President leopold Sedar Senghor formally resigned on Wednesday (31 December) as Senegal's head of state. President Senghor had led the country since its independence from France 20 years ago. From Thursday (1 January, 1981), the new Senegalese head of state will be Abdou Diouf, who has held the post of Prime Minister since 1970.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Diouf's ten years as Prime Minister are widely regarded as a perfect qualification for taking this West African country through the 1980's. President Senghor has regarded the Prime Minister as his heir since 1976 when Mr. Diouf was made presidential successor under Senegal's constitution.
Mr. Diouf, who like outgoing President Senghor will hold executive power, is essentially concerned with improving Senegal's rate of technological change. This television school he opened in the capital, Dakar, in 1977 is helping to spread the message of that change in a country dedicated to competing equally with modern industrialised states.
Abdon Diouf, who is 45 years old, is almost 30 years younger than the man whose position he fills. But he has slowly been given more responsible tasks during his grooming for the Presidency, such as control of the visit by Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands late in 1977.
Mr. Diouf inherits a country with stable diplomatic relations, but a decidedly unstable economy.
Senegal's agriculture has been stricken by a severe drought; the most acute since independence which is celebrated yearly with lavish parades. As a proved administrator, Mr. Diouf if qualified to confront that problem. Nevertheless, his political abilities on which his leadership depends, are unknown.