A French-sponsored two-day summit meeting devoted to the economic and political problems of Africa opened in Paris on Monday (10 May) with the participation of France and 19 African and Indian Ocean nations.
GV Elysee Palace
SV Delegates arriving (2 shots)
SV President Bongo arriving
SV President Senghor arriving
SV President Houphouet-Boigny arriving
SV Chandelier in hall
SV & GV Delegates around table (4 shots)
Initials BB/0230 YA/PN/BB/0235
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Background: A French-sponsored two-day summit meeting devoted to the economic and political problems of Africa opened in Paris on Monday (10 May) with the participation of France and 19 African and Indian Ocean nations.
Opening the meeting at the Elysee Palace, President Valery Giscard d'Estaing condemned foreign intervention in African affairs and said Africa must be left to the Africans.
He outlined a series of proposals dealing with strengthening the continent's shaky economy, and said aid to development was not only a humanitarian duty but also a technical necessity on which the balance of the world economy depended.
While the President appeared eager to steer the meeting mainly towards economic subjects, it was clear that many African leaders present would bring up topics of political interest, particularly those dealing with attitudes towards white southern Africa.
Some of the more western-leaning African leaders were expected to discuss the recent Angolan conflict and Soviet influence in the region.
The meeting, officially dubbed the Franco-African summit, is the third of its kind since 1973 when the late President Georges Pompidou called the first one.
Several French-speaking African states, including the left-leaning governments of Madagascar and Congo-Brazzaville, declined to take part in this year's gathering.
But a number of countries which are not in the traditional French zone of influence are present. These include Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi which were Belgian colonies, and the former Portuguese territories of Guinea-Bissau, the Cape Verde Islands and Sao Tome.
British-influenced Mauritius and the Seychelle Islands are also taking part.