|Message To 6th Session of|
Economic Commission For Africa
Feb. 20, 1964
|We extend our most sincere welcome and warmest greetings to all the delegates and observers |
who have come to our Capital City of Addis Ababa to attend the Sixth Session of the Economic
Commission for Africa.
We attach great importance to your present meeting because you are today gathered for the first
tme since the adoption of the historic Charter of African Unity in May of last year here in Addis
Ababa. This Charter is a truly becoming symbol of the coming of age of our great continent, and
your deliberations will be inspired by the same noble spirit as inspired the historic Summit
Conference of African States.
The Heads of State and Government made a united resolve that we should pool our resources and
harmonize our activities in the economic field.
To this end an Economic and Social Commission of O.A.U. has been established, and We are
pleased to see that already in its meeting the Commission has come up with important
recommendations regarding in particular co-ordination of effort between ECA and the new
Economic Commission of African Unity.
We consider the two commissions to be complementary in character, and We feel that jointly they
can play an important role in the vast and urgent task of economic development and co-ordination.
In this respect We have been interested to note that your agenda provides for the study and
consideration of the creation of an African Common Market and Payments Union. These are vital
steps in the process of African economic integration and your work here in this Conference can
make a positive contribution towards the attainment of these common objectives.
It is only through economic co-operation and co-ordination of effort that African states can hope to
maintain and strengthen their independence while ensuring the rapid progress of their peoples.
In order to achieve this common goal of strength through progress, it becomes necessary for us to
abandon once and for all petty differences and artificial barriers that tend to perpetuate a state of
division and confusion between our countries.
|We should instead jointly strive for those objectives that will enable us to be strong and united.|
Let us therefore leave aside all misguided aims and groundless ambitions that can only lead us into
wasteful and time-consuming conflicts.
Let us instead mobilize our resources for our common good and for the good of our great continent.
This is the heartfelt desire of African peoples everywhere, and it is the duty of us all always to bear
this in mind and to strive for its full and final achievement.
Another event of vital importance which you should keep well in mind during this Session is the
forthcoming UN Conference on Trade and Development which will be held in Geneva next month.
Our continent relies greatly on external trade for its development and economic progress, and it is
important that you should make every effort at this Session to harmonise the trade and economic
policies of your respective Governments with a view to putting a strong and united case at the
We wish to express our confidence that the Economic Commission for Africa and its Secretariat will
continue to afford to our Governments the service and assistance that would enable us to fulfil the
basic targets of the United Nations Decade of Development.
We are pleased once again to reiterate our continued interest in the work of your Commission and
our belief in its contribution to a greater understanding of Africa's Economic problems.
We earnestly pray to Almighty God to guide you in His wisdom through all your work and
|Haile Selassie the First - February 20, 1964|