Visit of Omar Bongo, President of Gabon, to the CEC
Jacques Delors, President of the CEC, and Manuel Marín, Vice-President of the CEC in charge of Social Affairs and Employment, Education and Training, received Omar Bongo, President of Gabon. The talks covered all aspects of cooperation between the Community and Gabon, the political and economic reforms under way there, the problems of economic integration in Central Africa and, more generally, future relations between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. After outlining the difficulties facing neighbouring countries, such as Congo and Equatorial Guinea, Omar Bongo described the political reforms under way in Gabon and the preparations for the presidential election in December 1993. In 1992 the Commission, on Manuel Marín's initiative, helped to finance the general population census, which was used as a basis for drawing up the electoral rolls and it is now prepared to provide financial support for organizing the elections. Jacques Delors welcomed the democratic process, which Mr Bongo described as "unstoppable". Mr Marin cited Gabon, and also Madagascar following the results of the presidential election, as encouraging examples at a time of increasingly defeatist attitudes to Africa. The Commission underlined the importance of regional cooperation in overcoming the crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. It reiterated its interest in the regional reform programme of the UDEAC countries (Central African Customs and Economic Union) of which Gabon is a member. Omar Bongo raised the question of future EEC-ACP relations in the light of negotiations for the second financial protocol (1996-2000) to the fourth Lomé Convention. The Commission reiterated its attachment to pursuing and strengthening cooperation with the ACP States. Finally, the franc area was also discussed in detail.
Handshake between Omar Bongo, on the right, and Jacques Delors
Jacques Delors, Omar Bongo and Manuel Marín (from left to right)
Meeting in Jacques Delors' office: Manuel Marín, Omar Bongo and ...
Handshake between Omar Bongo, on the left, and Manuel Marín
Omar Bongo, on the left, and Manuel Marín