Conferences of Independent African States

Conferences of Independent African States

 

The Accra Conference of 1958, which was held in Accra, Ghana, on April 15–22, was attended by leaders of eight independent African countries: Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, the Sudan, Tunisia, and Ethiopia. It was the first experiment in cooperation among all the independent states of the continent.

The Accra Conference adopted a declaration, a number of political resolutions (on peace and security, the end of colonialism, the Algerian question, a standing conference body, and the coordination of the policies of the member-countries), and several resolutions on social and economic questions. Its decisions proclaimed the determination of the African states to serve the cause of peace in cooperation with other peace-loving countries. The delegates expressed their intention to press for an end to the production and testing of nuclear weapons and a limitation on the number of conventional armaments. They pledged to remain faithful to the UN Charter and the principles of the Bandung Conference, to strengthen solidarity with the dependent peoples of Africa, and to defend their own independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The conference urged the eradication of all forms and manifestations of racial discrimination.

The delegates to the Accra Conference agreed to hold conferences of foreign ministers and other representatives of African states periodically to discuss common problems. In addition, they decided to make their permanent representatives at the UN responsible for forming an African group that would be a standing conference body for coordinating the policy of the independent African states on problems involving their common interests and for preparing future conferences.

Held on June 14–24 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Addis Ababa Conference of 1960 was attended by representatives of nine independent African states (Ghana, Guinea, Cameroon, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Ethiopia), as well as by representatives of the Algerian FLN. The representatives of Nigeria, Somalia, and the Congo (Léopoldville) had the right to cast consultative votes. The Addis Ababa Conference was preceded by two preparatory meetings. On July 15–19, 1959, the heads of state and government of Ghana, Guinea, and Liberia met in Sanniquellie, Liberia, and on Aug. 4—8, 1959, the foreign ministers and other representatives of the member-countries of the Accra Conference met in Monrovia, Liberia. At Sanniquellie the Declaration of the Principles of a Future Community of Independent African States was drawn up and signed, and at Monrovia the delegates agreed on common positions at the UN.

At the Addis Ababa Conference important international and pan-African problems were discussed, and a number of resolutions condemning any nuclear weapons tests in Africa were adopted. For the first time in history, the Addis Ababa Conference drew the attention of the African states to the danger of neocolonialism, recommended the establishment of effective control over foreign firms, and demanded that the colonial powers set dates for granting independence to dependent colonial territories. The conference postponed consideration of the question of creating a political organization of African states until the next conference of independent African states. At the same time, however, it reaffirmed the need to maintain the African group at the UN as the standing body of the conference and to establish African councils for cooperation in economics, education, culture, and science.

In 1961 and 1962 disagreements among African states frustrated all attempts to call a pan-African conference. Instead, separate groups of states took shape on the continent, including the Afro-Malagasy Union and the Casablanca group (Algeria, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, and Egypt). A pan-African conference of independent states was held in May 1963 in Addis Ababa—the Addis Ababa Conference of 1963, which was at-tended by representatives of 31 states. It established the Organization of African Unity.

IU. I. ALIMOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Several important meetings, which included two conferences of Independent African States and the All African People's Conference held in Accra Ghana in April and December 1958 respectively, took place in Accra.

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