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Nigerian Development Program

Press release S77 dated December 12

The Department of State announced on Decem-
ber 12 that the U.S. Government intends to pro-
vide assistance in the order of $225 million to the
Government of the Federation of Nigeria in sup-
port of its development plan to be implemented
during the years 1962-67. This decision follows
two visits of a special U.S. economic mission to
Nigeria which reported favorably on the extent to
which Nigeria is committing its own resources
to weU-conceived development plans, its ability to
absorb foreign assistance, and the sense of social
justice that pervades its planning.

The provision of funds will be subject to the
necessary appropriation by the Congress and to
subsequent mutual agreement on specific programs
and projects which meet U.S. legislative and
policy criteria.

The Department also annomiced that up to $45
million of the $225 million will be made available
to Nigeria during the current U.S. fiscal year.


The Health Frontier of the Developing Nations of Africa

hy G. Mennen Williams

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs ^

It is a pleasure to address this distinguished
audience. Indeed I am greatly honored by your
invitation to speak to this assemblage of people
whose professional competence in the field of
health cannot be excelled. Clearly it is a venture
for a Government official to talk about medical
problems to a group like this, but, to be honest, I
must admit that I jumped at the chance to speak
here tonight because I am convinced that Africa
holds a special challenge for people with your
skills— and I must admit, too, I ti-y never to miss
a chance to talk about Africa.

Over the past 9 months I have had the good
fortune to travel to most areas of the continent of
Africa. I have been acquiring a firsthand knowl-
edge of what may be the greatest new challenge
and the greatest new opportunity of our genera-
tion — the emergence of Africa onto the world
scene. I have felt the seething new vitality of this
vast continent with its 230 million people, its vivid
contrasts in topography, in climate, in stages of
political, economic, and social development. And
I have observed how that development has been
hampered by the dead hands of disease and igno-
rance. I have also keenly felt the sharp contrast
between this vast need and our own rare ability to
fill the need. With the special help of my wife,
Nancy, who has been devoted to health and welfare
work both here in Michigan and abroad and has
accompanied me on my journeys in Africa, I have
gained some insight into the problems to which
you have devoted your lives.

But my journeys in Africa have had other pur-

' Address made before the National Citizens Committee
for the World Health Organization, Inc., at Detroit, Mich.,
on Nov. 14 (press release 784).

poses as well. It has been my privilege to convey
to the leaders and peoples of Africa the warm
greetings of President Kennedy and the people of
the United States.

American Policy Regarding Africa

I have also tried to help Africans to understand
better America's purposes regarding them. The
essence of my message in this task is that the
United States wants for Africa what the Africans
want for themselves. We want to see there a com-
munity of sovereign nations growing in vigor and
prosperity. We welcome the independence of new
African nations. We imreservedly stand for the
application of the principles of self-detemiina-
tion for peoples still in a dependent status. And
we oppose any abridgment of human rights,
especially so where, as in the case of South Africa,
an official policy of white supremacy— apartheid —
affronts the conscience of mankind.

These key points of American policy are being,
and will continue to be, put to the test in Africa.
Much is expected of us. We cannot afford to be
preoccupied only with such issues as Berlin and
nuclear tests, important though these assuredly
are. We must make good on our traditional com-
mitment to freedom and self-determination when
these questions are at stake in Africa, as they are
in xVlgeria and Angola and the Congo and South
Africa. Our historic principles and our general
stand on the great moral issues are genuinely and
widely respected in Africa. But that respect can
be eroded. Because our position of leadership is
too pronounced and our relative allluence and
power are too evident, we cannot escape censure if
we falter in facing up to African issues on tlieir


Deparfment of State Bulletin

The great upsurge of nationalism in Africa is
very much a matter of the assertion of human dig-
nity and the struggle for equal rights on a massive
scale. Colonial rule has not been all bad ; in fact
the British and the French have made some nota-
ble contributions to African development. But
unquestionably the master-servant relationship is
an anaclironism in the world politics of today, in
the framework of the high but also realistic prin-
ciples of the United Nations Charter. Racial
discrimination in this country is, understandably,
a disagreeable reminder to Africans of their expe-
riences under white European colonialists. We
cannot afford, nor do we want, the constant recur-
rence of this rather profound emotional irritant
in our relations with the nations and peoples of
Africa. We must eliminate discrimination in
America both because it is right to do so and also
because our national security in world affairs
requires it.

My second task in these travels has been to ac-
quaint myself, on behalf of the Government, with
what Africa expects of the United States. I be-
lieve it important that all Americans get to imder-
stand what Africans have on their minds and in
their hearts.

The leaders I met define Africa's new freedom in
three principal ways. It means for them and for
their peoples the right, first of all, to shape their
own political destinies, their future as independ-
ent nations. Secondly it means the assertion of
their dignity and the right to full racial equality.
And finally it means freedom from degrading
poverty, from ignorance and debilitating disease —
it means the prospect of a better standard of

For Americans, also, freedom has always meant
these things. And it is in these common meanings
that we see Africa's challenge to America's posi-
tion of free- world leadership.

Role of Preventive Medicine

Tonight I would like to dwell on one special as-
pect of this challenge. To express it in terms of
the theme of tliis dinner, I want to discuss the
health frontier of the developing nations of Af-
rica. I base my remarks on the work of Dr. Ealph
W. McComas, the chief of the foreign operations
branch of the Division of Foreign Quarantine of
the Department of Health, Education, and Wel-
fare. Dr. McComas accompanied me on my last

trip to countries bordering the Sahara in order to
assess conditions of health there. I have relied also
on the work of Dr. Arthur C. Curtis, who heads
African public health programs of the Agency for
International Development. Their general con-
clusions are supported by the earlier studies of the
Public Health Consultant Mission to Tropical Af-
rica of the International Cooperation Adminis-
tration and the World Health Organization,
which is now in its 12th year in Africa. And I
must say again my wife's devotion to meeting
health challenges widened my own understanding
and observation.

It is no accident that I draw primarily from
sources known for their devotion to preventive
medicine. The history of health work in Africa
imtil recent years has been almost exclusively that
of valiant but hopelessly inadequate curative im-
dertakings. The role of preventive medicine is
only now being seriously examined. Curative
programs have been based of necessity on the
skills of foreign doctors, who have sought to train
African assistants, nurses, and technicians in the
operation of hospitals and clinics. Today there
are only nine medical schools in the entire conti-
nent. Their graduates are few in number, and it
is highly unlikely that they will increase signifi-
cantly in the near future. This is so because most
education systems of African nations are inade-
quate. They cannot now and will not for a num-
ber of years to come qualify a significant number
of Africans for advanced medical training.

Curative medicine of course remains indispen-
sable in Africa as elsewhere. There is nothing
more iniraculous to me than the work done today
to cure the human body and mind. In the clinics
I have visited in Africa heroic work is the daily
fare of dedicated African and foreign medical
personnel. Their heroism can be fully appreci-
ated by those who are cognizant of the extent and
prevalence of disease and the impossibility of
making progress against it with curative tech-
niques alone.

The U.S. Government has been accumulating
data on which to base action against disease in Af-
rica with preventive techniques. All studies re-
veal a number of grave problems common to the
entire continent. Almost universal are such epi-
demic and endemic diseases as malaria, smallpox,
leprosy, the intestinal parasitic diseases, trachoma
and river blindness, tuberculosis, and sleeping

January 1, 1962


sickness. There is no question that African
health officials are deeply concerned about the
need for expanded and improved liealth services to
control these diseases. They are aware also of the
almost universal need for better nutrition —
especially for more protein — as well as for potable
water, for more and better housing particularly
in urban areas, for environmental sanitation, for
programs to control animal and insect vectors, and
for education in everything from personal hygiene
through subprofessional health skills to advanced
medicine and science.

Unfortunately the departure of foreign techni-
cians and the reduction of other forms of assist-
ance from many countries at the time of independ-
ence have aggravated these needs. Furthermore,
concern on the part of government policy leaders
for health varies widely from nation to nation.
Budget support for health programs and the pri-
orities assigned to them in development plans also
vary widely. Heavy emphasis is still given to
medical care and facilities — up to 15 percent of
some national budgets. Despite this emphasis and
the long-term efforts of the colonial powers and
missionaries, many of whom have been American,
the facilities, equipment, supplies, and even stores
of pharmaceuticals are limited and, in many areas,
grossly inadequate. The contribution of medical
care toward solution of tlie basic problem must be
termed minimal. Yet most of the diseases treated
could have been prevented by the application of
known public health techniques.

This tabulation of needs will not, I hope, be con-
sidered an adverse criticism of the selfless men and
women from all over the world who have dedi-
cated their lives to health in Africa. Nor is it my
intention to criticize either the African or his land.
My desire is to set forth clearly the problems in
Africa that challenge health specialists and politi-
cal leaders throughout the world. It is a chal-
lenge to apply known techniques of public health
and research on the health frontier of the develop-
ing nations of Africa. It is a challenge to invent
new techniques for problems unique in their vast-
ness. It is a challenge to prevent disease or to
limit it to magnitudes with which treatment can

A few minutes ago I named some widespread
diseases. I pointed to a liistory of health pro-
grams in Africa limited primarily to curative
medicine. I indicated that African governmental

budgets still devote the bulk of funds to medical
care. I stated that this care is far from adequate.
To all tliis must now be added the fact that even
with contributions from external sources, from in-
dividual nations, including the former colonial
powei-s, and from multilateral agencies of the
United Nations, the resoui-ces available to African
nations will be insufficient to justify great hopes
for expansion of expensive curative facilities.
Rational use of resources demands concentration
on preventive programs. "With a concentrated,
sustained program of this kind there is reason to
expect that substantial progress against disease
can be achieved ; there is reason to expect that this
drag on economic and social progress can be signi-
ficantly reduced.

Health in Relation to Economic and Social Growth

Africa's health problems seriously affect the
economic and social growth of its developing
countries. The success of many development
plans will depend upon the availability of man-
power. Many of Africa's preventable diseases
strike individuals in their potentially most pro-
ductive age periods. The occurrence of these
diseases in yoimger age groups either eliminates
or handicaps these potential producers. Endemic
malaria alone has caused repeated failure of agri-
cultural development projects in other parts of the
world. In all of tropical Africa, malaria of the
most serious kind is endemic and is only one of
several equally serious diseases limiting the pro-
ductivity of the people of this region.

Economic and social progress are sure to be
slow and uncertain in countries where debilitating
diseases constantly undermine the physical and
mental vitality of the people. Obviouslj', how-
ever, progress in the field of health is impossible
without commensurate progress in social and eco-
nomic fields as well. Effective programs of dis-
ease control require sizable cadres trained in the
various aspects of the health services and profes-
sions. Development of such cadres depends upon
the product of the basic educational programs of
countries. In Africa literacy ranges as low as 10
percent. Secondary educational facilities in al-
most all areas are too small to supply a full com-
plement of students for the all-too-few existing
institutions of liigher learning.

Education is, of couree, also essential to im-
proved nutrition. Improved nutrition requires


Deparfmenf of Sfate BuUefin

the intake of a greater variety of foods. This
means that housewives must not only overcome
their skepticism about new foods but must also
learn to prepare them. Educated personnel are
needed to determine what new foods are to be pro-
duced and to train those who produce them. Edu-
cated people are required to develop the agricul-
tural sector of the economy and to build and
operate complementary systems of transportation
and so on. Educated people are required also to
teach others to do these things. To quote a recent
WHO statement, ". . . health improvement must
be geared to social progress and economic devel-
opment, and with them constitutes an inseparable

President Kennedy has recognized that economic
and social development can occur only through
sustained advance on a broad front. He has
called for an American program to help the de-
veloping nations help themselves. He has also
called for more commitment to long-term devel-
opment and to orderly planning for national and
regional development. He has established the
new Agency for International Development to
give effect to this American program.

President Kennedy has also placed high priority
on stimulating contributions from other developed
nations and has given impetus to the new Organi-
zation for Economic Cooperation and Develop-
ment for this purpose. He has called for the most
effective use of resources, stressing the importance
of coordination of all programs including, of
course, those of the multilateral agencies of the
United Nations, such as the World Health Organi-
zation (WHO) , the Food and Agriculture Organ-
ization (FAO), the United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF), and others. Within the
framework of these principles, the United States,
both the Government and private organizations,
can assuredly develop effective programs of assist-
ance for Africa in the field of health.

Projects in Ethiopia and Chad

I would like to suggest the direction which these
programs might take by quickly describing several
established projects, which have varying national
and organizational sponsorsliip. These projects
have proven effective. They have tested princi-
ples wliich can guide activities in other areas.
The few I can reasonably name in my allotted
time this evening can only suggest the solid and

the imaginative start being made in Africa today.

I think first of the school located at Gondar,
Ethiopia, for health officers, community nurses,
and sanitarians. There the United States and
Ethiopian Governments, WHO, and UNICEF
are contributing each according to its potential.
Since its establishment in 1954, 200 graduates have
gone out to staff some 30 newly opened health
centers. The health officers are a truly new type
of professional. Their training, designed to re-
spond to local needs, places major emphasis on
preventive medicine but also includes curative.
Moreover, graduates in each of Gondar's sldlls
are trained to work with the others as a team.
And of special importance it seems to me is that
the Ethiopian Government has instituted a health
tax for the consti-uction of additional health cen-
ters to insure an expanding program.

Another exciting and promising experimental
project, this one in the field of health education,
has been sponsored by UNESCO [United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organiza-
tion] in the Republic of Chad. Within the frame-
work of a basic education program, a central
radio station has broadcast health classes to a
field staff of village educators who move about on
bicycles, equipped witli receiving sets, to rural
dispensaries and schools. These and other health
workers are armed with inexpensive supplemental
visual aids. Taken all together the program has
demonstrated sufficient promise to justify UNES-
CO plans to begin siinilar programs in other
countries. Many other projects in Libya, Liberia,
and elsewhere demonstrate how multilateral and
bilateral methods of assistance can be harmo-
nized. The goals are the same, but the resources
are different. Wlaen coordinated with the efforts
of the Africans tliis assistance can have tremen-
dous impact.

These examples point up the kind of innovation
that will hasten progress against Africa's diseases.
Less spectacular programs of the World Health
Organization in north Africa have been sufficiently
successful to permit planning of broad programs
for the control or eradication of trachoma and
malaria. In some areas of west Africa the
French-sponsored Organization for Coordination
and Control of Large Epidemics has made con-
siderable progress in the control of sleeping sick-
ness. British research has contributed greatly to
our imderstanding of vectors and their control.

January 1, J 962


These and other programs of WHO, UNICEF,
FAO, and the philanthropic foundations, although
modest, appear sound, well executed, and geared
to the resources of the countries.

Expansion and multiplication in Africa of pro-
grams in preventive medicine and in training of
personnel are vital if the most practical use of
existing human resources is to be made. The
growth of these programs must be coordinated
with the indispensable curative programs; their
development must be in step with social and eco-
nomic progress. Without diligent effort now to
establish and expand preventive medicine and
public health services, the African's hopes for a
better life — for human dignity — which imderlie
today's continent-wide resurgence could turn to
despair. As President Kennedy put it in his
speech before the United Nations,^

Political sovereignty is but a mockery without the
means of meeting poverty and illiteracy and disease.
Self-determination is but a slogan if the future holds no

Ladies and gentlemen, your presence here to-
night is eloquent testimony of the leading position
of the United States in the fields of health which
are of critical importance to Africa today. With
your support, your Government, together with
other free nations and the multilateral agencies
of the United Nations, can move against the prob-
lems on the health frontiers of Africa's develop-
ing nations. You remember the words of the
President's inaugural,^ "To those people in the
huts and villages of half the globe struggling to
break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best
efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever
period is required — not because the Communists
may be doing it, not because we seek their votes,
but because it is right."

U.S. To Aid Basic Economic Project
on Volta River in Ghana

Press release 887 dated December 16

The Department of State announced on Decem-
ber 16 that Clarence Eandall, on behalf of the Gov-
ernment of the United States, would on that day
inform the Government of Ghana that the TTnited
States will join Ghana, the United Kingdom, the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Devel-

opment, and American private industry in financ-
ing the Volta River project.^ The 5-year project
will involve a U.S. loan of $37 million, of which
about $25 million will be paid out over the next
3 years.

This action is the culmination of nearlj' 3 years
of active study and negotiation to insure the eco-
nomic and technical feasibility of the project.
The go-ahead on the Volta project, like recent U.S.
approval of substantial commitments of economic
assistance to Tanganyika and Nigeria, is expected
to assist the developing African nations to
strengthen their economies, maintain their inde-
pendence, and facilitate the growth of free polit-
ical institutions.

The United States, through its agencies, the
Development Loan Fund and the Export-Import
Bank, will loan $37 million to the Volta River
Authority over a period of at least 5 years for the
construction of a dam, power station, and trans-
mission grid. The remaining funds will come
from sources outside the U.S. Government, Loan
advances to the Volta River Authority will be
made on a 50-50 matching basis with the Ghanaian
Government. The Volta River Authority is an
independent Ghana Government corporation, pat-
terned after the Tennessee Valley Authority. Its
chief engineer will be Frank J. Dobson, a distin-
guished Canadian engineer now with the Hydro-
electric Power Commission of Ontario.

In addition, the United States, through the De-
velopment Loan Fund and the Export-Import
Bank, will extend loan assistance and investment
guaranties to a consortiiun of private American
companies [Volta Aluminum Co.] who will build
and operate an aluminum smelter using power gen-
erated by the dam. VALCO's shareholders, the
American aluminum companies, have agreed to
purchase the aluminum produced by the smelter
at a price which will cover debt service charges and
operating costs, iiicluding power costs. The power
rate, in turn, has been established at a level which
will cover debt service on the dam. Thus the
repayment of both loajis is assured. Under an
agreement between VALCO and the Authority,
the First National City Bank of New York will
act as a trustee to receive these payments for the
aluminum and apply the funds directly to pay
VALCO's obligations.

' Bulletin of Oct. 16, 1961, p. 619.
• Ibid., Feb. 6, 1961, p. 175.

' For background, see Bulletin of July 24, 1961, p. 153,
and Nov. 6, 1961, p. 771.


Department of State Bulletin

Department Responds to Queries
Concerning Oil Imports Program

Statement hy C. W. Niclwls ^

I appreciate the opportunity of appearing at
these hearings and presenting information on be-
lialf of the Department of State respecting the
mandatory oil imports program. Your letter of
Dctober 20 posed four separate questions and asked
the Department's views on each of them. My
presentation today will follow the order in which
^our letter posed the questions.

First, your letter stated: "We are most inter-
jsted in obtaining evidence with respect to whether
the United States has any treaty obligations, pur-
suant to the Trade Extension Agreements, that
might interfere or conflict with limitations on the
importation of foreign oil."

We take this question to be asking broadly
whether the United States has any agreements
jntered into under the authority of the Trade
i^greements Act of 1934, as amended and extended
(19 U.S.C. 1351(a)), which might interfere or
conflict with limitations on the importation of

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 46, Jan- Mar 1962) → online text (page 13 of 101)