Léopold Sedar


President of Senegal

Speech made to the Assembly

Friday, 20 October 1972

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I suspect that I owe to my former membership of this Assembly the honour of being invited by your President to speak to you today. Those of my former colleagues who are here – there are seven of them – know that I have always defended in this Chamber the idea, indeed the ideal, of Eurafrica. My views have not changed, since my statement today bears the title “Eurafrica or the role of the Mediterranean Area”.

What is Eurafrica? Why and how should it be organised and function? These are the questions that I should like to try and answer. But, first of all, what is Europe? And what is Africa?

I know that today’s sitting is chiefly devoted to cultural problems. This is why more than half of my statement will deal with that, not in order to conform exactly to the Orders of the Day, but because I think that these cultural problems are the fundamental problems at the beginning and end of development.

But as you know, culture cannot blossom out without economic development, and this is why I shall be speaking to you of Eurafrica in economic terms too.

Moreover, I know that you are not the Assembly of the Nine but that of the Seventeen. Nevertheless, my statement on the economic theme will centre on the association of the Nine and the Nineteen. You can guess the reasons for this: this association is the hard core of the future Eurafrica. After all, you set me the example, since the day before yesterday, 18 October, you passed a resolution to introduce, between now and 1980, a uniform European currency and I read the following paragraph from that resolution:

For the developing countries, “provide for the increase, in agreed stages, in the aid contributions of member States and the co-ordination of development policies” with a “particular effort” to be undertaken “in favour of the Mediterranean countries which are Members of the Council of Europe”.

After that introduction, what then is Europe?

What is Europe? Coming from an African, and from a black African, you may think the question impertinent – in the etymological sense, and indeed in every sense, of the word. But I had to ask myself this question and I asked myself the same question when I was a member of this Assembly, and before that, during the ten years when I was a Classics teacher in a French grammar school, and I must say I still find it surprising, while we are talking of culture, that Europeans should have reduced the place of Latin and Greek in their education systems, considering that these languages represent the acme of Europe’s genius. But that is a completely different matter and it would take a whole lecture to do justice to it.

Speaking of Europe, Mahatma Gandhi emphasised its active charity. The strange thing is that, when speaking of Christianity, he should have stressed the adjective rather than the noun, effective action rather than religious feeling. It is in fact effectiveness, that northern virtue, which is so characteristic of albo-European civilisation. One can easily see its connection with discursive reason and determination, the two concepts generally applied in defining the spirit of your civilisation.

I believe that Europe’s second great virtue is its feeling for the human, that is, beyond the feeling of fraternity, its ability to think and act in terms of the human being. If this implies a sense of measure, then the standard chosen is at least a human one. I believe that this second virtue comes from the south, from the Mediterranean, on whose shores lived a gentle and civilised people before the invasion of the “Indo-European” warriors – as writers on history and pre-history are wont to say.

Here let me quote a non-European, a great American, namely Professor Jay Forrestal, whose methods guided the technologists who prepared the famous MIT report, The Limits to Growth, entitled in French – I wonder why – Halte à la Croissance. When Jay McCulley asked him if Mr Mansholt was right in saying that the Europe of the Ten was the world region best qualified to implement a balanced plan, the Professor agreed that he was, because the European was “more conscious of the problem”, particularly because European society was more mature and had intellectual traditions more favourable to the methods of analytical approach which he and his colleagues proposed. I refer you to Le Monde of 1 August 1972. I have not seen the English text, unfortunately, but the context suggests that the traditions to which Forrestal was referring are those of European humanism, those which make men “conscious” of their limitations as well as of their potential, of their duties as well as their rights.

I could extend my list of the European virtues, as Denis de Rougemont did in his preface to Volume III of the European Memoirs under the title “The Cultural Heritage of Europe” – a remarkable essay, I might add. The fact remains that the essence of the European spirit does not lie in the length of a list, but in the emphasis placed on given features. As I said in my message to the 1960 Symposium between the European Society of Culture and the Society of African Culture, every nation, every race possesses all the virtues of homo sapiens, but geographical and historical factors have led each of them to cultivate only a few of these qualities to a high degree, as Europe has done in the case of discursive, i.e. effective reason, and the sense of the human.

This is why we must, as we approach the end of the 20th century, develop an integral humanism: a universal civilisation, as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin put it, to which each continent, each ethnic group, each nation, will contribute the virtues it has cultivated.

I have been speaking of Europe, but I do not simply mean the Six, or the Nine, or the Eighteen with Finland, or even the Twenty with Cyprus and Malta. I am speaking of European Europe which includes the Balkan peoples and all the Slav races. The Slavs, to take just one example, whether they be Catholic in the majority, like the Poles, or Orthodox, like the Russians, have made an irreplaceable contribution to the study of Christianity. And I am not referring to their artists or their writers or their philosophers. It is plain, however, that the Eurafrica of our dreams can be built only by nations which have faith in it and are prepared to extend their love beyond Europe to outsiders.

It is now time for me to define Africa to Europe.

Like Europe, Africa is given unity by its civilisation which transcends the diversity of its ethnic groups and languages. From Leo Frobenius to Viviana Pâques, all the leading authorities on Africa have confirmed this truth, which is not merely an ideal but derives from the facts themselves. Although he attributed this unity to the difference between Ethiopians (black) and Hamites (brown), the great German ethnologist, Leo Frobenius, called his principal work The History of African Civilisation – in the singular – and the French Viviana Pâques, who teaches in Strasbourg, gave one of her best articles the title “The Unity of African Thought”. I quote:

“We did not find two civilisations clearly reflecting two separate worlds, one pagan, the other Moslem, but a coherent system which broke through the barriers of religion, race and environment”.

Experts on ethnic characteristics also group black and Mediterranean Africans under one ethnic type, giving first place in the latter category to the Arab-Berbers.

We thus find in the peoples of Africa a combination of characteristic features, or virtues in the etymological sense of the word, which I have called African-ness.

The first of these features is a deeply emotional strain, immediately reflected in thought by the use of the picture symbol and, in art, by rhythm. This means that the African has instinctive artistic leanings and thus the phrase “intuitive reason” has frequently been used by writers to describe his special way of thinking.

Fortunately the second quality is, as in Europe, and perhaps even more so than in Europe, the sense of the human. A Wolof proverb from Senegal reminds us that “man is the cure for man”, that is to say that a human problem can be properly solved only in terms of man and with reference to man.

These then are the two civilisations, European and African, different, indeed opposed, and yet alike. Their story has a long past, and a long future too. A long future since, if it is true, as Denis de Rougemont has shown, that Europe has owed its prosperity and dynamism in the past to the cross-fertilisation of cultures, then the same must he true of the future Eurafrica. But Eurafrica has already existed in the past, for thousands of years. Professor Paul Rivet, who taught me anthropology at the Institute of Ethnology in Paris, used to say that the earliest and greatest civilisations in history had all been born in or around the Mediterranean area: and, around the Mediterranean and as far as India, they were all different versions of the same symbiosis of civilisations between whites and blacks, or more exactly between Indo-Europeans, the brown races of the Mediterranean region, and the black races of Africa or Asia. He cited the Egyptian and Sumarian, Greek and Roman, Indian and Arab civilisations. Let us concentrate on the civilisation of Greece, which provides the finest example.

Having taught Lathi and Greek for some ten years, I often reflected on Roman, and even more on Greek, civilisation, asking myself what lessons they held for 20th century man and also for us, the black Africans. What an unparalleled thing this Greek civilisation was, gaining, as it did, an intellectual victory over the Romans when the latter had occupied the Greek-speaking countries which at that time stretched as far as Samarkand and Ethiopia. But over and above material factors, the Greek miracle, as it has been called, was rooted in the sensibility and thought of the Greeks, in Greek culture. The latter was a symbiosis of complementary values, combining discursive and intuitive reason – I would remind you that Aristotle, like Plato before him, valued intuitive reason more highly than discursive reason – I refer you more precisely to the Nicomachean Ethics; more exactly, a symbiosis, in which feeling and thought, emotional depth and imaginative power, acute intelligence and effective action drew strength from one another. In their thought and their action, their literature and their art, their collective and personal, public and private activities, the Greeks had already realised, some 2 500 years ago, that ideal of balance, harmony and plenitude which present-day society is striving painfully to attain in the midst of economic crises and armed conflict. It is significant that the greatest of modem thinkers, politicians and intellectuals, artists and writers, revolutionaries, like Marx and Lenin, and con servatives, have all dreamed of reviving, in modernised form, the ideal of Greek civilisation.

When I said that Greek culture was essentially a symbiosis of complementary values, what I meant was that it was a culture based on crossbreeding. This cultural cross-fertilisation was preceded, or at least accompanied, by crossbreeding in the biological sense. Although the latter was not a sine qua non of the former, it should still be mentioned. It is thus true to say that it was Greece which brought the Albo-Europeans, incorrectly called the “Indo-Europeans”, to the Mediterranean shores, with their fair hair, blue eyes and thin lips. They came strengthened by the harshness of the Northern climate which had hardened them, by their two-edged vision of the world and by their inflexible logic and of all these qualities they made effective instruments of action. However, on the shores of the land-locked sea and on the islands, they found brown-skinned, gentle, civilised and sophisticated peoples who had already inter-married and who taught thorn the art of living and of dreaming. Seen in this light, Greek culture is, in the last analysis, a symbiosis of the best values of Europe, Africa and near Asia. Its exemplary character is due to this process of cross-fertilisation.

For us, the black Africans, the admiring curiosity with which the ancient Greeks always regarded the black peoples is not the least original, or the least human, feature of that wonderful civilisation. For them, the “Ethiopians”, as they called the black peoples, were the oldest and most beautiful of races, the inventors of religion and law, art and writing.

The two pages on Greek civilisation which I have just read to you are, in fact, taken from my general policy report at the 8th Congress of my party, the Progressive Senegalese Union. For we do not have – at least in Senegal – one language for Europeans and another for Africans.

The fact remains that Africa did not remain passive in these symbioses, which brought the civilisation, first of Greece and then of Rome, into being and led it to maturity. It played an active part, not just in Europe but in Africa itself, in enriching – I might say, in humanising – the civilisations of Greece and Rome. Without going back to the mythical Egyptian heroes, the founders of Greek cities, I need only recall, in the words of Eugène Guemier, Africa’s Contribution to Human Thought and above all its contribution to the earliest civilisations in European history.

Like him, I would mention the Greek-speaking Egyptians, Origen, Plotinus and Philon; the Latin-speaking Berbers, Tertullian, Saint Cyprian and above all, Saint Augustine, who set the fervent, and the same time brilliant, stamp of Africa on Christianity; and, lastly, the Arabic-speaking Berbers, Averroës and Ibn Khaldoun. We know what black Africa contributed – a creative depth of emotion – but brown Africa’s contribution seems no less creative to me: “love and liberty” are the words used by Guemier. And both of them also contributed – there is nothing inconsistent in this – a feeling for reality, which St. Augustine summed up in these words from his Contra Academicos:

“The wise man should not be a worker in words, but a seeker of facts”.

Having outlined the African contribution, I may also mention that the Greeks and Romans were free of racial prejudice. No limits were placed on immigration from Africa and no discriminatory laws were enforced – because, once again, there was no racism – although the number of Africans, particularly in Rome, exceeded what is now called “the tolerance threshold”.

Here then are Europe and Africa: the cultural Eurafrica. With regard to economics, I shall be briefer, because this is an area where you are the experts, and because the second and third parts of my address will be almost entirely devoted to economics. Rest assured – I shall not quote too many figures and I shall often refer you to my written statement.

Though I may, in the interests of realism, refer chiefly to the Europe of the Nine, with its 253 million producers and consumers, I shall always bear in mind the Europe of the Eighteen with Finland – I might say Twenty, with Malta and Cyprus – and even sometimes the ideal Europe extending “from the Atlantic to the Urals”. Europe of the Nine has been compared to American and Russia and hailed as “an economic giant”. This is what it can be, this is what it is becoming, this is what it will certainly be when it has achieved the monetary union you hope for. In the meantime, the figures are impressive. As I have said, Europe of the Nine has 253 million inhabitants, in other words more than either the United States or the Soviet Union. Nor is this its only advantage in the field we are considering. Its exports represent some 40 % of world exports and far surpass those of the two super-powers. It produces more steel and more cars than they do. Lastly, its merchant fleet is larger. And so are its foreign exchange reserves – another important factor.

Nonetheless, Europe is still far from meeting the “American challenge”, not to mention that of the Soviet Union or of China, whose importance, at least moral importance, in the eyes of the third world, I must emphasise. Europe of the Nine produces less meat, and above all less power and fewer computers. It can meet the challenge only on three conditions, which the most clear-sighted Europeans have recognised and which you have suggested in your resolution of 18 October: it must achieve economic unity, and, first of all, its “union”, indeed its monetary union, which is the Community’s aim; it must do all in its power to strengthen the free trade agreement concluded with the six EFTA countries; finally, it must also strengthen its association with Africa, extending it to Near Asia.

And this leads me to speak to you now of economic Africa. Let me start by recalling some basic figures. Compared, not with Europe of the Nine, but with Europe of the Twenty (excluding the Soviet Union and the peoples’ democracies) whose population numbers more than 335 million, Africa has 357 million producers and consumers. Its domestic product amounts to 63 million dollars only and the per capita income of its inhabitants stands at 176 dollars, which, I grant you, is small.

However, this is not the main thing. What is of importance is the material and human potential of Africa. In fact, despite the deterioration in terms of trade, which, in a country as industrialised as Senegal, is no less than 6.9 % per year, Africa’s annual growth rate – excluding South Africa – over the first ten years of independence was approximately the same as the rate for the third world, namely 4.8 %, whereas the United Nations objective was 5 %.

The African growth rate is bound to increase if methodical, persistent and realistic steps are taken to combat the deterioration in terms of trade, in other words, if Eurafrica comes into existence. There can be no doubt about African determination. First, the will to associate with Europe, which is, as I have found in the course of my talks, at least as strong in the Arab/Berber States as in the nineteen potential associate States of the English-speaking Commonwealth. The will, too, not only to grow, but to develop. And, logically, the will to make the efforts necessary to achieve this. Moreover, and this is the most important factor, Africa possesses immense natural resources, and prospecting operations are still far from complete. I had an opportunity of outlining Africa’s resources for you on this very rostrum, ten years ago, drawing on a work by the Austrian, Anton Zishka.

From my written statement you can see the extent of Africa’s contribution to' the production of certain basic agricultural products and certain mineral raw materials. However, I should like to stress the increasing importance of power in the world economy. In 1971 Africa produced 18 % of the world’s power. The main fact here is that the African continent’s total capacity to produce electric power represents 44 % of the world capacity. And it is reckoned that Africa possesses roughly 40 % of the hydro-electric power reserves available on this planet.

Given the natural resources and spiritual qualities of the Europe-Africa combine, it is easy to imagine what a formidable and yet peaceful power this would represent, if it were organised on an equal, or better still, complementary basis, in other words, if it lived in symbiosis.

Before I remind you that your own EEC Commission has adopted this idea and before we consider the steps which it has taken to put it into effect, I should like, anticipating an objection raised by those sceptics who call themselves “realists”, to impress upon you once again, in this second part of my address, that Eurafrica already exists. It remains only to confirm it, that is to say to strengthen it and to organise it in all the relevant areas.

Europe’s influence on Africa, the information of Africa by Europe, is so obvious that it needs no lengthy explanation. Some 80 % of African countries have in fact been for tens, or, like Senegal for hundreds of years, subjugated by Europe and transformed into colonies or protectorates. The English-speakers of the southern

Sahara have taken to tea-drinking and have adopted the practical British outlook. The French-speakers who relish bifteck-pommes de terre frites, have a tendency to theorise, starting from first principles, and even the Algerians, who insist that they are Arabs, still reason and talk like Frenchmen.

I could quote my country as an example. Contrary to what might be believed, it is not a producer of poets and lawyers. I worked out the statistics the other day. We have 18 lawyers as against 448 engineers, and mathematics take top priority in our education system – but an important place is reserved for Latin.

However, as many sociologists have pointed out, the reverse is also true, and the former colonies and protectorates have influenced the metropolitan countries. To take only the noblest area, the arts, European 20th century art would not have been what it is today without negro art, without the “negro revolution”, as Emmanuel Berl called it, without negro music which arrived via America. And it was precisely because these aspects of our civilisation bom of creative emotion were the furthest removed from those of Albo-Europe that they proved the most fertile. From this point of view, no complementary relationship could be more fruitful than that between Europe and Africa. It was this complementary relationship which gave us men like the philosopher Gaston Berger, who was Director of Higher Education in France and above all the inventor of futurology, who was bom of Franco-Senegalese parents at Saint-Louis, Senegal. It was Gaston Berger who said that if he had had to choose between reason and love, he would have chosen love.

The realists will say: “All this may be true, but we are still free to reject your Eurafrica”. And this is true; if our great project is to become a reality, there must be equal goodwill on both sides of the Mediterranean: there must be equal love. As the Senegalese proverb says, “Between ‘I love you’ and ‘I don’t love you’ there is no room for argument”.

The fact remains that history, the history which has shaped the pattern of mutual influence, presents us with a moral problem. As you know, it was as representatives of the “Overseas Territories” constitutionally part of the French Republic, that Africans like myself have sat with you in this Assembly. When various countries gained their independence in1960, it was only natural that a link should remain between us. Prom this was bom the idea of association between the former French, Belgian and Italian colonies in Africa and the European Economic Community.

Why Africa and not the other continents? First, for the reasons I have mentioned, namely geographical, historical and cultural. But also because, in this case, the colonisers’ debt to the colonised was heavier. I freely admit and have often said that in a colonial situation positive contributions offset negative contributions, although the introduction by the colonial powers of certain industrial crops, nowadays paid at low prices, sets us problems which are virtually insoluble.

But in Africa south of the Sahara white Europe introduced one terrible, irreparable scourge – the slave trade. Experts estimate that, in the course of some three and a half centuries, the number of black Africans sold into slavery in the Americas amounted to 20 million. But even this was not the worst feature. The worst of the matter was that, for every negro deported, at least 10 others had been killed in manhunts. 200 million dead! What ethnic group could have survived this? Had those dead lived out their lives in the normal way, the population of Africa would today be about 1 000 million. Think what this would have meant in terms of willpower and energy, of the resultant means and rates of production.

I have spoken of the slave trade because it haunts and torments the European conscience, and because I wish to tell you that this is an argument on which we have no wish to insist. We Africans believe that Eurafrica must be based on a free and joyful accession. It must represent, not reparation, but resurrection and renewal and be based essentially on cultural, economic and social arguments, which are human arguments, too.

This was clearly recognised by the EEC Commission, when it published its Memorandum on a Community policy for co-operation with developing countries last year and it is because you spoke of co-operation with the third world in your resolution of 18 October, that I am at the centre of your concern. In this memorandum, which the Permanent Representatives began to consider this year before it was submitted to the Council of Ministers, the Commission did better than to go into' details: it laid down principles, and in so doing outlined the aims to be pursued. I should like to comment on these principles and aims, which represent a new Eurafrican policy, before putting specific proposals to you, not indeed on behalf of all Africa but on behalf of most of the associated States.

The first principle laid down by the Commission is that the ultimate aim of any policy on co-operation must be “ the full realisation of human potential ”. In giving priority to culture, the Commission’s first aim is to respect the humanist tradition of Europe. It also intends to make the internal economic policy and external aid policy of the Community more consistent by giving them a guiding idea, a general aim which goes beyond satisfying “animal needs”, to use the words of Marx.

The second principle, which follows from the first, is the total or indivisible nature of the aims of development. The programme must apply to education and training as well as to economic growth, to industry as well as to agriculture, to mention only the essential areas. The aim is to co-ordinate the policy of each of the member States with that of the Community and hence that of Europe.

The third principle is that of a concerted programme for co-operation at all levels: between developed countries, between under-developed countries, and between the developed and underdeveloped countries. It is understood that this programme will be carried through in a regional context and be backed by lateral and north-south solidarity.

I should like to pause on this third principle to emphasise and clarify the kind of programme which should follow from it. In truth, the Commission is here displaying imagination and giving us a prophetic vision of Eurafrica. First, there is the core – the Six, now the Nine. Then come the European States which wish to associate themselves more or less closely with this central group: the seven States of EFTA, including Portugal and the Mediterranean States apart from Portugal. Next come the States to the south and east of the Mediterranean: the Arab States and the State of Israel. Lastly, there are the States south of the Sahara. In short, the aim here is to create preferential co-operation among ail the associated States by exercising a considered selectivity in the cultural, economic and indeed political fields.

Here is what the memorandum has to say:

“While remaining conscious of its general responsibilities to all the developing countries, the Community has hitherto given a privileged place in its external relations to certain black African countries, to Madagascar and countries in the Mediterranean area.

This guiding principle of Community policy in respect of Africa south of the Sahara and of the Mediterranean basin must be upheld and, subject to certain reservations, expanded. Starting from this accepted principle, the Community must plan and implement a policy for co-operation with all the developing countries.”

It is precisely the need for a consistent policy with regard to the developing countries which constitutes the fourth principle. This “world” policy is relevant to what I am saying, though my own remarks bear on a different subject. For the time being, I shall therefore content myself with mentioning it.

I repeat that the Commission has outlined a vision of Eurafrica in its memorandum. In its broad outlines, this vision has our approval. Before making a few suggestions of my own, and pointing out the gaps and imperfections in the Eurafrican association as it now stands, I should like to reply to some sharp attacks which have been launched not so much on Europe, on the Community, as on the association, that is Eurafrica. I shall then speak of our attitude to the 19 potential associate States of the Commonwealth.

Why the Africans and not us, ask the peoples of Latin America and South-East Asia. My answer to this is: “because, without speaking again of the slave trade, you are not the neighbours of Europe; because when the Community was bora, your ties with Europe were not as dose as ours; because you, the peoples of Latin America, are already semi-industrialised, and because you, the peoples of South-East Asia, are both further developed and better assisted than we are”. It is not just coincidence that most of the “twenty-five least developed countries in the world” are in Africa; and that dear-sighted man, Mr Robert McNamara, President of the World Bank, had his reasons for saying, in his first public speech on 30 September 1968, that, with regard to the zones, the Bank had tended in the past to concentrate its efforts on the Indian sub-continent; that he foresaw that the rhythm of the Bank’s investments in Latin America would more than double in the next five years; but that it was in Africa, which was on the threshold of major development investment, that its activities should be most widely expanded; that, in the next five years, investments in Africa ought to be multiplied by three with the effective co-operation of the African countries. And Robert McNamara has kept his word. Like the EEC Commission, this is precisely what we say ourselves.

The gravest aspect is that other, overdeveloped States in the far West and the far East are bringing formidable pressure to bear on the Community, claiming that the latter is breaking the general GATT Agreement and violating the sacred principles of free trade. Turning to us, these overdeveloped countries address us as “poor little under-developed countries, poor little Kaffirs”, speak of these “reverse preferences” hung like millstones around our graceful necks and tell us that we must hasten to toss them off – if we wish to be free. This attitude is widespread. At a pinch, an association with the countries of black Africa would be tolerated – the slave trade has, after all, had its effect on consciences – but not an association with the Mediterranean countries to which you are so attached. As if the Americans, North and South, had not set up within the Organisation of American States the “Inter-American Economic and Social Council” and the “Alliance for Progress”, not to mention COMECON which is, as we know, the equivalent of EEC! As if the two super-powers of the Far East were not, at this very moment, in the process of discovering their brotherhood and drawing all the logical economic, cultural and political conclusions from it! This is exactly what the Commission and we are doing in rediscovering old but basic, affinities between Europe and Africa. Furthermore in doing this, the Commission and ourselves are relying on sound principles.

The first of these principles is that of independence, by virtue of which we Africans mean to “act and think on our own and for ourselves”. For, in the case of the reverse preferences, each of our nations could apply the words of Martine to Europe: “I want him to beat me... I like being beaten”.

Our second principle is that of equality. In fact, combating the reverse preferences is striking at the very heart and basis of the association, since these preferences establish moral equality between the European and African associates – dignity for all. They are also in line with the concept of exchange, of reciprocity, which is central, in Africa, to the idea of association or “community”.

Legal authorities in Europe have proved that the reverse preferences do not contravene the General Agreement, GATT. But we will go even further: it is the whole system of free trade that we, the working peoples, object to, because the freedom involved is the freedom of the capitalist system, in which the strong crush the weak. Our demand is for the rational and therefore effective reorganisation of world trade so -that the domination of a small number of over-developed economies over the majority may be progressively removed. This is our third principle.

However, to come down from principles to the realities of world trade, it is with some astonishment that we find that the facts give the lie to those who attack the Eurafrican association. In fact, far from hindering the development of world trade, the association encourages it by protecting, albeit inadequately, the weak against the dumping practised by the strong. Indeed, this is one of the aims of the Convention of Association, set forth in the very first article.

I refer you to my written statement for the exact figures. To sum them up, I would simply point out that trade between the United States and the European Community, to take one example, developed more rapidly than that between the Community and the associated States of Black Africa. Putting the emphasis on exports to EEC, which are the most important factor, I am thus saying that the Americans more than trebled their exports, whilst the Africans did not even succeed in doubling theirs. Exports from the United States to the associated countries were “multiplied by three”, as Mr Deniau, a member of the Commission observed, whilst those of the Community “were only multiplied by two”. Those are the facts, that is the truth of the matter.

These facts and figures enable me to conclude by putting before you specific suggestions – I will not go so far as to call them “proposals” – in the spirit of the Commission’s memorandum. Let me say, first of all, that when I speak of Europe I am thinking, beyond the Nine, of the Twenty, that is, of Western Europe. Moreover, if we respect the spirit of these texts, the important thing is to apply them in the best way possible. By that I mean that both of us, Europeans and Africans, must use our imagination to find new means and methods better geared to operational requirements and therefore more effective. But we must also, as you have often said, beware of letting technology blind us to aims or, more seriously, to the ultimate goal. I shall thus start by recalling the main objectives, the ultimate goal, in short the ways and means, as defined in Article I of the Convention of Association.

We note that this first article says that association is the most effective means of promoting world trade, because it is the most realistic. The time has come to tell this to the proponents of cosmopolitanism, and I know there are some in your midst: To dream of snatching Latin America from the economic domination of North America, or South East Asia from that of the three super-powers, Soviet Russia, Maoist China, and the less determinant – but no less determined – Japan, smacks of Utopia.

My first suggestion presupposes the existence of Europe as a continent conscious of its original values, and therefore of its humanistic role. Although the enlargement of Europe concerns us and we sincerely wish to see it come about, the most important thing is still that Europe shall bo conscious of its mission. Europe is white, so be it. But if it is to fulfil its mission, it is time for Europe to feel European – simply without complexes, just as Africa feels African. All too often we have the impression that, faced with the super-powers Europe is timid and makes a poor showing, refusing to use her most telling arguments and hesitating dangerously to go beyond merely national issues such as milk and meat prices – important of course in their own way – like fruit and vegetable prices, which I am particularly interested in. But I think that it is important to rise above these squabbles about beef and daily bread to achieve the great political future which, after all, is Europe’s mission.

My second suggestion concerns the association of the nineteen English-speaking Commonwealth States with EEC. As you know, when Britain joined, the Community gave these States, which were in the same position as the 19 associated States, the choice of three formulae: that of Yaoundé, that of Arusha or a simple trade agreement.

For my part, I have always wished, and have publicly said that I wished, to see Great Britain and the greatest possible number of European States join the Community because it is good for Europe, good for the world and good for peace. But I have wanted even more to see the English-speaking States of black Africa associated with that same Community because this is in the interest of Africa, which, to achieve unity, must start with economic integration. Paradoxically – but the realities of our situation are such – this means that all the African States must have similar, if not identical, relations with EEC. Besides, African integration along these lines is one of the objectives of the Yaoundé Convention, a fact we too often forget. It is, however, in the interests of Europe, too, for the reasons which I set forth earlier, and in the interests of that ideal Africa, which we must build together – the idea takes shape as we speak of it.

I can say this now – most of the nineteen associated countries do not merely favour association with the nineteen English-speaking countries, but are ready to welcome them as members of a future third Yaoundé Convention. A meeting at ministerial level has even been planned between the nineteen associates and the nineteen potential associates. This should take place in Brussels on 7 December.

However, on the eve of the negotiations for Yaoundé HI, which are to start in August 1973, the African associates lay down two condition. First, the “agreed advantages” – principally the assistance provided for under Section II – must be maintained, as the Community formally promised to do in the course of negotiations for enlargement. Second, all the potential associates who choose the Yaoundé formula must agree to grant “reverse preferences”, for the reasons already explained.

I have just mentioned Section n of the Convention on Association, which bears the title “ Financial and technical co-operation ” and brings me to my third suggestion on the relative reduction of Community aid, or more precisely, aid from Western Europe, to the under-developed countries in general and to its African associates in particular. In its last “programme of action”, the EEC Commission made a point of emphasising the steady reduction of the Community’s public aid programme over the last ten years. In the years 1960-70 this, in fact, fell from 1.08 % to 0.42 % of the gross national product. The decrease is general, whether we take France or Great Britain, Belgium or Italy. Only the Netherlands, whose foreign aid increased from 0.31 % to 0.63 %, provides an exception. The Commission concluded by recommending that governments undertake to’ respect the target, set by UNO for the year 1975, of 1 % of the gross national product.

I can only support the Commission’s recommendation, particularly since this is a question of justice, not charity. If terms of trade had not deteriorated, in other words, if the most developed countries had not, arbitrarily and having regard solely to their own profit, fixed the prices of the products offered on the international market, then the developing countries would still of course have needed technical assistance and long-term loans on special terms, but would not have needed subsidies. As Galbraith, the American economist, has shown in his book, The New Industrial State, prices are not determined by the supposed law of supply and demand, but are arbitrarily fixed by governments and big business – “the corporations”.

And my country is a good example, with a relatively high level of industrialisation – only 13 % of our exports are not processed products. In his study, “The Economic Problems of Senegal”, Mr Samir Amin, then Professor of Political Economy, now Director of IDEP – the African Development Institute – says:

“Some 20 000 million ‘visible’ transactions are thus added to the enormous invisible transactions which unequal terms of trade represent. The gross external contribution, public and private, including technical assistance, which also amounts to some 20 000 million, balances only the ‘visible’ transactions on the other side. In short, Senegal does not ‘receive’ foreign ‘aid’ – the real economic benefits flow the other way, from Senegal to the developed world.”

These are the words of a Professor of Political Economy, who is not Senegalese.

I repeat, however, that direct aid would be less necessary if international trade were organised in a more rational, just, and therefore effective, fashion. In the case of the Eurafrican association, the letter, but even more the spirit, of the convention would have to be applied. This is my fourth and last suggestion. For it was the negotiators and therefore the governments themselves who quite rightly sought to give trade priority among the chief instruments of economic development, when they made “trade” the subject of Section I of the convention.

The most serious aspect from the association’s point of view and, more generally, from that of Eurafrican relations, is precisely the fact that the spirit, and indeed the letter, of Section I of the convention has frequently been violated to the great detriment of the African countries which are, I repeat, in general the poorest in the world.

First, the spirit. The spirit of the convention is that the two Parties involved give each other preference over third parties. This is not true of the Community’s policy with regard to Africa. Many European journalists have often made this point. The effects of exemption from customs duties and similar taxes are nullified by the introduction of discriminatory internal taxes on the chief African products: Adèle Karamanian calculated, in Jeune Afrique of 5 January 1971, that these discriminatory internal taxes imposed by Europeans on African products vary from 60 to 250 %.

Not only that, but the letter of the convention is not always respected; the case of fruit and vegetables provides an illustration of this. I shall not press the point, but simply say that we receive from Europe, even the Europe of the Nine, a greater quantity of fruit and vegetables than we send to this continent and those we receive are not subject to any discriminatory tax.

I must conclude this long address but, as you will have seen, the problem is enormous and, in a sense, the most important which the world faces today.

You may have been surprised, perhaps shocked, by my frankness, but I have great confidence in Europe. The fact is, that despite the errors which I have taken the liberty of singling out in passing, I am optimistic. You will have noticed, yourselves, that although Africans speak bluntly – which, like their optimism, is part of their nature – they have never ceased to declare their faith in the Eurafrican association and therefore their confidence in Europe itself.

In essence, I have said nothing that the Commission’s memorandum does not say too: I have merely illustrated its analysis and its proposals. For the one great problem which the developed countries face and which the Community has begun to solve in the most humane and effective manner, is not so much that of aid as that of international trade, or more precisely, of the deterioration in terms of trade.

It is significant that on the same day, 25 September 1972, two men of world stature, Pope Paul VI and Mr Robert NcNamara, President of the World Bank, should have denounced aid to the third world as a failure. And I say myself that this failure is heavy with the threat of disaster. After all, if two thirds of the world are desperate, what can they do but revolt – at least turn to the far West, or more probably to the Far East.

And we even find the super-powers pushing them into it. You read last month’s newspapers and magazines. Among the French papers alone, one bore the title Lone Story on its cover, the other was headed The Asian Challenge. For me, the fact the white races are, like the peoples of Asia, coming together in this way is particularly significant, since both camps were formerly divided among themselves. Now that nationalism and above all ideologies are getting out of date, this desire for understanding reflects a process which goes back to the beginning of the 20th century and involves the affirmation of collective personality on an ethnic and cultural basis. This process is in itself a natural one of course, but it is also the one which had led to the deterioration in terms of trade and to the impoverishment – relative, I admit – of two thirds of mankind.

It is this process which – let us make no bones about it – involves thinking in terms of whole continents and which has racial implications that we, the Albo-Europeans, Arabo-Berbers, Jews and Negro-Africans must overcome together. Why? To complete the task which we have begun, not only within the Council of Association, but also within the United Nations Conferences on Trade and Development; although UNCTAD m was particularly disappointing, we did have the consolation of seeing Africans and Europeans working together throughout that conference. We must join together to strengthen the inter-racial links between North and South, to find, both at Eurafrican and world level, a dynamic compromise based on what Jean-François Deniau has called “a consistent and positive policy”.

I am convinced, strange as it may seem, that amid the storms which loom on every horizon, the fate of the world is in our hands which seem so weak, and above all in your hands, the hands of the people of Europe. The only thing we need is faith – and determination.

(Prolonged applause)

THE PRESIDENT (translation)

Mr President, the prolonged and loud applause of the Assembly is indeed the most eloquent expression of our gratitude to you.

Speaking bluntly, as you yourself said, you have made on behalf of Africa an earnest appeal to Europeans on which you ask them to reflect.

I think I can speak for all of us hero when I say in response to your speech made with so much force of persuasion, so much telling eloquence and, I may add, so much optimism, that the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe will respond to your words.

You kindly agreed to answer any questions put by members of the Assembly. I thank you for that, too, and call Mr Capelle, Chairman of the Committee on Culture and Education, to begin.

Mr CAPELLE (France) (translation)

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasant duty to thank President Senghor, on behalf of the Committee on Culture and Education, for his moving and highly instructive address.

On this occasion I should like to recall twenty-five years of unbroken friendship, including several years of trustful collaboration on the great Eurafrica project.

While listening to President Senghor, I was thinking of a dialectic to which he has made a contribution. I was thinking of the definition of Europe given by Valéry, for whom European civilisation was characterised by its technological development, which gravitated, as we know, towards the Americas. But President Senghor contrasted, with the conception of Europe as a little foreland of Asia and the home of technology, that of a humanistic Europe, which grew up around that marvellous melting-pot of civilisations which the Mediterranean has been and will remain in the future.

As a university man I would like to thank him, too, for raising the level of the debate in an age when concern for profit seems to outweigh cultural and gratuitous traditions. We are threatened, for the sake of a short-term conception of efficiency, with a kind of rootless humanism; the humanism which President Senghor has just described, and which we share, has its roots far back in history.

On behalf of the Committee on Culture and Education I thank President Senghor for this very fine lecture delivered with the twofold authority of the poet and the statesman which exemplifies that combination of love and reason he talked of. May this marriage of love and reason be the inspiration of the Council of Europe as it strives to build the Eurafrica which has just been presented to us with so much sincerity and so much faith.

Mr SCHULZ (Federal Republic of Germany) (translation)

Mr President, I hope I may address myself direct to our distinguished guest.

Sir, with your very important, moving and profound speech, you have provided our Assembly with a great occasion. For that I should like to thank you most sincerely. You are well known not only to politicians but also to the – I fear – gradually dying race of men of letters throughout the world. Your culture, your origins, your learning and your intellectual and political activity make you not only a symbol but also a model for Euro-Africans. You spoke – not only directly but also metaphorically – what for me is the most beautiful language in Europe after classical Greek. You addressed this Assembly with the frankness and honesty which are essential for any good and fruitful discussion. Permit me, Sir, to speak to you with the same honesty and frankness.

In my question, I do not wish to go into certain events of recent years which would appear to give the lie to your assertion that one of the salient virtues of African-ness is the quality of humaneness, at least in this somewhat general form. Neither do I wish to touch on the problem of the exchange of goods and products, however important that may be. Instead, I would like to ask you a question which has concerned me for many years now and to which I would welcome an answer from a qualified person.

In your view, what can be done, what contribution can the Council of Europe make – if, indeed, at all – in order to spread and intensify a spirit of pluralism in the African States, whose modem histories are in almost all cases very young still? I am referring not only to political, social and – note – ethnological pluralism but above all to the intellectual and moral pluralism which is the universal prerequisite for the development of a viable, stable and workable democracy.

Mr STEWART (United Kingdom)

I have no question to ask, and I had not intended to speak, but I cannot withhold my admiration for the address that we have heard from the President this morning. As someone coming from a country which, like France, has been so closely entwined with the history of Africa, I wanted to pay my tribute.

When the President mentioned the part played by the Greeks in our civilisation, I was reminded that the poet Homer tells us that the twelve great Olympian gods whom the Greeks worshiped went regularly once a year to a dinner party which was given them by the people described by Homer as “the blameless Ethiopians”. They appeared to be the only people thus honoured.

If our guest this morning had been living in those days, I am certain that he would have been entirely at home as host at that dinner and that the twelve Olympian deities would have learned much wisdom from him.

Mr PECORARO (Italy) (translation)

As an Italian, I feel myself to belong to a country which of all those in Europe is closest to the north coast of Africa and thus to the African continent. Therefore I believe I am speaking for all my colleagues in the Italian delegation when I express our recognition of the outstanding quality of President Senghor’s speech and our gratitude to him. Very rightly, indeed, he brought out the links between our civilisation and our economic and cultural development and that the true sources of Western and Eurafrican civilisation spring from the shores of the Mediterranean.

May I therefore offer President Senghor our deep and sincere thanks.

Mr JUDD (United Kingdom)

I, too, want to add my word of appreciation to the President for his magnificent address this morning. On a personal note, the first of many visits to Africa that I was able to make was to his country, and this opened my eyes to the African continent in a way that I have always appreciated.

The President referred movingly and convincingly to the danger that if the industrialised world did not respond to the economic needs of the majority of mankind in the developing countries, there was a real danger that the people of the developing countries might in their desperation turn to the extreme East. That is a fear which I personally share.

Therefore I ask the President one specific political question which is not unrelated to this problem. In his continent there is increasingly a political and social confrontation between the white-dominated south of his continent and the black majority of his continent. Does he agree that an increasing tendency by Europe to became implicated economically, politically and even militarily with the white regimes of southern Africa could, alas, have the same consequence of driving the majority, especially in the southern half of the continent, into the hands of the extreme East?

Mr PÉRIDIER (France) (translation)

Sir, I will not launch into a eulogy of your brilliant address. As a Frenchman, I would simply say that it was the kind of address we expect from a great university scholar imbued with Latin and French culture, from the great writer and poet that you are, from a member of the French Institute.

I am well acquainted with these problems of co-operation since I was, for long, Rapporteur for the Co-operation Budget in the French Senate, and reported on practically all the cooperation agreements, including that with Senegal. Therefore I should like to defend my country, for I think you were a little unfair to us on the subject of public aid to the cause of African co-operation.

You implied, in fact, that France had not respected the United Nations decision that such aid should equal 1 % of the gross national product. I can assure you that, without even waiting for that decision, France was for long one of the few countries to raise aid to 1 % of the gross national product immediately after the New Delhi Conference. But I would specify, and this is an important point, that I am talking about public aid, for in other countries aid is not calculated simply on the basis of public aid but also includes private aid.

Hence, I cannot accept that private aid be considered automatically, at least not as a contribution to African co-operation, since very often private aid is not given so much in the interests of Africa as in the interests of certain capitalists.

May I ask one question? It is true that the 1 % aid recommended by the United Nations and by the Council of Europe is not always given by most of the European countries.

Could you perhaps suggest the conditions in which European countries could respect the decisions approved by them at the United Nations or the Council of Europe?

One last word with regard to the Commonwealth countries. True, you have expressed no objection to' an association between Europe and the Commonwealth countries, but you did lay down certain conditions.

I cannot say that I oppose these conditions. They are normal and logical. And if they are imposed by the Yaoundé Treaty on the African countries which used to belong to the French Communauté, it is normal that they should also be imposed on other countries.

This was, in fact, done by the Arusha Treaty, which I know well since I was also Rapporteur to the French Senate for that treaty. Nonetheless, it is true that some of the Commonwealth African States are in rather a special situation. And yet we must not automatically exclude any Commonwealth African countries, precisely because we have to build this great Eurafrioa which you champion.

Consequently, at the meeting you are to have, you will have to allow for some degree of flexibility. On this point I should like to know whether you intend to show complete intransigence, or whether you would accept a certain degree of flexibility which would enable us to create that great Eurafrican community which we all hope to see.

Mr CORNELISSEN (Netherlands)

Mr President, President Senghor has made some interesting remarks about the importance for the African people of the principles of equality and dignity for all. The Organisation of African Unity has built a reputation in combating racism and discrimination all over the world. As President Senghor will know, there is deep concern in Europe about the present expulsion of so many thousands of Asian people from Uganda. I should like to ask President Senghor if he could tell us whether any efforts are being made by the Organisation of African Unity to urge President Amin of Uganda to change his present racial and inhuman policies.

Dame Joan VICKERS (United Kingdom)

I would like to add, not only as a British representative, but as a woman – because it is always nice to be able to pay a compliment and a very genuine one to men – my compliments to President Senghor. I would like to thank him in particular for the words he said about cooperation between the nineteen ex-Commonwealth colonies, now Commonwealth States, and his French equivalent. I think that women have a tremendous part to play for the betterment of race relations, because it is they who have the predominant part in bringing up their children.

I was very interested in what he said about UNCTAD, and I entirely support his points of view.

I would like perhaps just to say I can be proud of my country in one thing, and I think he will agree with this, that it was my country, with Wilberforce, that stopped slave trading. We regret that it ever started, but we took a step of which I hope he will approve. Therefore in congratulating him on a first-class and really interesting speech, one which I am sure will be read for weeks to come, I hope we will have what he has seen, further co-operation between Europe and Africa.

Mr AANO (Norway)

Mr President, just a few words of thanks from a representative of a country which is the farthermost North among all the countries of Europe. I was deeply moved by your very enlightening and profound speech, Sir, and I feel that we have had an inspiration from you as Europeans and as to the work we are called upon to do for the betterment of the conditions of all nations of the world. It is significant that we needed an African statesman to remind us of the profound values of Europe and of all democracies, and a new reminder too that these are values that are not ours. We have sinned against them again and again and they are part of a broader Euro-African culture, and when we look into' the future we need to build on them, in your words, Sir, to find what you quoted as dynamic compromises. Thus in a humble way I want to thank you for your inspiring speech.

Mr Senghor, President of Senegal (translation)

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I shall not reply at great length. First of all there are those who were kind enough to simply congratulate me. I will not reply to them but simply tell them that I appreciated their compliments. I would just make an exception for Dame Joan Vickers, to tell her that I very much appreciated a woman taking the floor.

I am glad that so many of you from different nations replied to my address. The cornerstone of politics in Senegal is dialogue and a readiness for contact with other nations and other cultures.

Mr Schulz asked me what the Council of Europe could do and what I thought of pluralism. I would reply that the Council of Europe, and Europeans in general, can help us not to cut ourselves off in a kind of black ghetto as a reaction to what we consider to be an injustice on the part of Europe and the developed countries in general.

I think that Africans on the whole are very open. In my country we have risen above racial and religious quarrels. I belong to a minority ethnic group, my name is Portuguese, I am partly Portuguese, I am a Catholic like only 5 % of the population and I was nevertheless elected.

In our latest teaching reform, although we introduced our national languages in the primary school at the same time, our first principle was to give priority to training in the art of abstraction, and therefore to mathematics, and our second principle, to training in the art of expression and in foreign languages. With the exception of those who' study Latin and Greek, all Senegalese secondary school pupils have to study their mother tongue, French and two other European languages. Thus, since French is nonofficial language, the first foreign language must be a Germanic one – English or German, and we encourage them to choose a Latin language as their second, preferably Italian as Italy is a Member of the European Economic Community: we offer Italian, Spanish, Portuguese – and even Russian. So1 you can see that we are trying to be open to all outside influences, because we believe in cultural cross-fertilisation.

Mr Judd spoke of the political confrontation in South Africa and asked my views on that subject. I refer you to the declaration approved unanimously by the Organisation for African Unity, in which we say that white Africans are true Africans. We black Africans have no wish to practise racial discrimination, and we say that we cannot accept the racial discrimination practised by the South Africans or the Rhodesians against black Africans. Notwithstanding, even in this case, Senegal recommends discussion. We maintain constant contact with the white liberals in South Africa because I believe that the negroes will not be liberated in South Africa and in Rhodesia unless they fight together with the liberal whites. We accordingly invite liberal white South Africans several times a year to come and speak to our club Nations et Développement which is a club for executive grades. If they do not speak French they can give their talks in English, since this is a language that all well-educated Senegalese understand. I might tell you that my eldest son is now a student at the Berkley School of Music in Boston.

Mr Péridier complained that I was unfair to France. It was perhaps precisely because I was trying to be impartial, because it is, in fact, France which provides us with the most substantial aid, but as I was quoting conclusions of the Commission of the European Communities to the effect that aid had diminished in France and Britain, I could not say otherwise.

However I acknowledge the effort made by the French Government and other governments, but speaking very objectively I observe that European public opinion is increasingly apathetic with regard to aid.

I agree with Mr Péridier that the only really worthwhile aid is public aid, since countries like Senegal have no difficulty in finding private investments.

You mentioned the Commonwealth countries, but here a distinction must be made between Senegal’s position and that of the majority of associated States on whose behalf I am speaking here.

The majority of the associated States are anxious to keep the agreed advantages, the advantages of financial and technical aid. Senegal is less anxious on that score probably because it needs it less. But what we value above all are the reverse preferences. As far as we are concerned all the potential associate States of the Commonwealth will be welcome at Yaoundé III, even Nigeria which alone has as many inhabitants as the present 19 associates. We are simply asking that the reverse preferences be maintained. It is a question of dignity and we are for Eurafrica and against cosmopolitanisation.

Mr Comelissen asked me what I think of the expulsion of Asians from Uganda. I can tell you that this is contrary to Senegalese policy. Of the 4 million inhabitants of Senegal, 900 000 are not Senegalese. For example, there are 450 000 from Sékou-Touré’s Guinea and 80 000 from Portuguese Guinea, which represents a major problem for us since it causes unemployment. We have about 120 000 Arabs and 40 000 Europeans. We are conducting a kind of multi-racial and multi-religious experiment; we have Europeans who are Senegalese citizens and the present Minister for Internal Affairs in Senegal is of French origin, he is white and he is one of our political leaders.

With regard to General Amin’s policy, I may tell you – I would not otherwise have mentioned it – that I wrote to ask him to at least extend the time-limit for the Asians and I also asked him not to practise discrimination and not to expel Asians who had taken Ugandan nationality.

There are 20 000 Lebanese in Senegal of whom half have taken Senegalese nationality; there is no question of expelling them or discriminating against them. Moreover the Supreme Court would not allow it – in one in four cases that Court quashes the decisions of the Senegalese Government on the grounds of abuse of power. In Senegal we believe that this is a good thing, because it is the very principle of democracy.

Once again I should like to thank you all for listening to me and I shall conclude by reaffirming my faith in the Eurafrican experiment. The value of the experiment lies in the fact that our solidarity is not horizontal – between great white powers, great oriental powers or great black powers, but a North-South solidarity which is bringing new life to the rich Mediterranean civilisations.