Houphouet-Boigny, Félix
July 1957
Foreign Affairs;Jul1957, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p593
The article focuses on Black Africa and its fascination for the type of independence just acquired by the neighboring state of Ghana, a Franco-African community founded on liberty, equality and fraternity. In considering where the real interests of the colored peoples of the French territories in Africa lie, one does not begin with a blank slate. The relations which prevail between Frenchmen of the mother country and Frenchmen of Africa already exist in an historical complex of events lived in common, in which good and bad memories mingle. It wants to cooperate within this great aggregate, which is the French Union because it is there that one can safeguard the advantages and the interests of the black people of Africa. Thus the democratic institutions of republican France have little by little been established in the overseas territories. During the past several months, free elections throughout French Africa have enabled the people to choose those who would direct communal, urban, rural or territorial institutions. As a result, Africans are now in a position to exercise their responsibilities and to assert their political personality. Municipal councils exercise sovereign power over local affairs. Territorial assemblies are endowed with broad deliberative powers allowing them to adopt autonomous laws distinct from legislation, which applies to the mother country.


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