Chapter XII
Transportation & Communication
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African Unity And Telecommunications
Mar. 08, 1966
... The expansion and improvement of the intra-African telecommunications network is one of the
basic necessities to attain Our goal of African unity.  If we consider the present state of African
telecommunications, we note that when any African country communicate with another African
country by telephone or telegram it must often be made through transit centres situated outside
Africa.  These circuits are consequently expensive and often technically unusable and certainly not
rapid.  If this situation is not rectified in the near future the development of Africa in all fields will
be seriously handicapped.

Rapid communication between African countries is one of the most important tools by which We
can promote development in Africa.  It is to be remembered that we have discussed this problem
several times, but the anticipated progress of intra-African communications has not been achieved.

It is believed that you are here today to discuss collectively the Dakar African Telecommunications
Plan of Rome of 1963 and the methods by which the implementation of these plans can be

To fulfil these plans immediately on a continental basis would inevitably call for very heavy
investment.  It will thus probably be necessary to implement them step by step in accordance with
Our economic capabilities.

We, therefore, hope that you will make a serious effort to carry out your task and reach a successful
solution and that this conference will mark a milestone in the development of African
telecommunications. ....
Haile Selassie the First - Mar. 08, 1966