thumbnail of Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt; 106; Africa: Revolution in Haste
Hide -
Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt today discusses Africa - revolution in haste with Ralph Bud Ward on Prospects of Mankind. [Music] Recorded Sunday, March 6, 1960 in cooperation with Brandeis University. National ?educational? television production. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. Prospects of Mankind. [Music; drumming] The cry in Africa today is uhuru, freedom, and freedom is coming fast. Five years saw the spectacular birth of five new nations among them ?? Ghana. Last year's map is already out of date because the momentum is increasing so rapidly. 1960 sees the long awaited birth of Nigeria, of Somalia and, to everyone's surprise,
the Belgian Congo. Kenya and Tanganyika are following fast behind with an orderly transfer of power from all-white rule to a multi-racial system. How smooth this transition will be depends on Africa's leaders. It has already changed the motto of his revolution from 'Freedom' to 'Freedom and Toil,' and toil there is going to be, to break away from the centuries-old patterns of thinking, to achieve the backing and trust of the tribal elders, to overcome their suspicion and hostility. To train a new generation of ?? people able to take the first steps toward building a modern economy, Who can handle a slide rule. Scientists who can develop or refine better agricultural methods and raise the subsistence standards. Medical workers who can attack the special diseases of this continent and Educational facilities must be expanded quickly in these formative years of independence.
To throw off the old humilities of racial superiority, the Africans are seeking modern forms of government. They may not follow exactly the European parliamentary tradition but have risen out of the alien culture. But where the hand of friendship and understanding is extended, Europe and the United States can help to avert some of the more dangerous pitfalls. In some places the road to the 20th century will be able to form itself from the old to the new. [drumming stops] Today Mrs. Roosevelt and her guests explore the problems faced by the new nations of Africa as they gain their independence with unprecedented speed. Our guests are Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize winner and United Nations Under-secretary for Special Political Affairs, Barbara Ward (Lady Jackson), a resident of Ghana and a distinguished economist and writer, currently a lecturer at Harvard University, Saville Davis, managing editor of The Christian Science Monitor.
Nyerere, president of the Tanganyika African National ?Union?, in all probability the first prime minister of Tanganyika. Now, here is Mrs. Roosevelt. Roosevelt: Although we, in America, can understand the African's resentment against outside domination. We cannot help but worry whether the newly independent nations, who have virtually no preparation for independence, can make a go of it. Given the demand of quick and efficient development, what will happen to traditional safeguards for political and social democracy, for example? On the first program of this series, I mentioned that nationalism seemed to be moving too rapidly in Africa. At that time, of course, independence for the Belgian Congo was in the distant future. Today we know that the Congo will become free on June 30th of this year. After a headlong rush toward independence the people of Tanganyika seemed to be
approaching independence with a much more deliberate rate. Mr. Nyerere, I wonder if to begin this program you would give us just a quick sketch of your country and ?activity? people. Nyerere: Well, perhaps it's quickest to ?get? give my country's ?discern? which I've learned from this country. It is roughly the size of Texas. It has em 9 million people. Of these 9 million people, we have the indigenous tribes, the 100 and 20 of them. Then we have the newer tribes, some from Europe, some from the Arabs and the, the Indians, and Pakistanis, Greeks, Englishmen, Ger- Germans, Italians, and all this. And it's these people we are trying to weld in a nation and it's among these people that I have organized the Tanganyika African National Union, of which I am, I am president and trying to get independence for the country.
Roosevelt: Well now, that that is is a very good sketch and I'd like to ask three of our guests today whether you feel that independence is coming too fa- fast in Africa. Unnamed guest: May I just just say a word on that. Yes, ?____?. [laughs] I understand uh very well uh that this is a valid question and one which many people are asking, but um I really wonder whether uh we could do very much worthwhile in discussing it because I I really think there's not much that can be done about it. Moreover, I think that it would be uh extremely difficult to generalize with regard to Africa on this subject. I know of no absolute criteria for determining when a people are ready for indep- Roosevelt: in fact we didn't ask it ourselves, we didn't any days of our history... Unnamed guest: we didn't ask the question, ourselves, and I think probably a good case could be made for saying that we weren't ready when we got- but, uh, the people of Africa are moving toward independence. When people are seeking freedom,
they're always impatient. And I think that's good that they're impatient. And I wonder if Barbara Ward would uh- Ward: Oh, no, I-I-I entirely agree, I think that when nations are are set for independent and want it then everything must be done to help them and encourage them and see that they get it, because after all, if we don't believe in the right of people to govern themselves I don't know what we do believe in. But I think that there are one or two- one or two particular problems that face Africa and that is the gap between the um the political form of a modern state and the extraordinary degree of technical and economic uh sophistication which goes into the making of a state and I think when people talk about independence coming too quickly they don't mean in any absolute sense that people aren't ready to govern themselves. They do are. Have they got some of these essential eh essential skills and equipment to do it well when they got it?
Unnamed guest: Why did it come so quickly though? Shouldn't we look into that question for a moment because the the timetable has been condensed, almost catapulted. We have this remarkable agreement on the the independence for the Congo in June. It's just come out of Belgium. We have this conference that's just taken place in London on Kenya. And when Tom ?_____?, the Kenya leader got back home, he said that this wasn't going to last for very long, that he expected that uh uh there would be an African majority very very soon in Kenya. Why has it happened so quickly? Nyerere: Well, in the first place, I think the- to ask the question. Really ??? If you If you come into my house and steal my jacket, don't then ask me ?ready for my jacket? The jacket was mine and you had no right at all to steal if from me [laugh]. And well it may take a long time to go to the high courts and appeal and get all ?of it? and get my jacket back but you have no right at all to ask me whether I was ready for my jacket. The mechanism of whether
my my jacket when I put it on that this is different. I mean it may not be much in it as you look in it but it's mine. This is your side of it and it's very significant as your side of it. Isn't it also significant, though, that the colonial powers appear to have crossed the big divide uh for themselves and come to the conclusion that they have to expect African majorities in the countries of Africa. Now isn't that the big decision which they made? Nyerere: Saville, you said Saville: The timetable has been changed. Who set the timetable? The expectations of people who probably didn't understand what was happening. Ah, that's quite right exactly. So there was no timetable- touche- there was no timetable Yes. There were as you say expectations on the part of people who had their own ideas as to what the pace of progress should be. But on this subject let me point this out. Um. The question was are they going too fast or are they ready. I think it's most unfortunate that
these states of Africa are emerging into independence at a period in the world's history unlike any other period when there is more sense of interdependence among states, more sense of solidarity in an international community, when for the first time there is a sense of responsibility on the part of a world community to aid those who are emerging. And so uh it seems to me the question is more valid if we say uh what can the international community do to help these people after they gain independence whether they were really ready for it or not in terms. What I-I say I agree with that very much and I think does tie up with what you were asking before and that is why is the timetable come- why was it speeded up? I think it speeded up owing to a very big historical change in mankind which may be the most important one that happened since- Well I wouldn't know how long, perhaps the invention of the wheel and that is the idea that small nations, small groups have the right not to be run by big groups. Now this is
revolutionary. It isn't yet entirely world-accepted in the world-wide sense because you have the Russians still insisting on running Hungary, you have the Chinese still insisting on running Tibet, you have a very ambiguous situation in Algeria and above all for Africa. You have the union which is which is the big ?union? not only the union colonial powers - I say French that the French, the others are going don't you think? Well the others are being made to go. It's not as if really, they have decided gracefully to go out. They are being made to go out. Well, it's a mixture- a mixture- it's a mixture imposed upon them by the time but really time hadn't been -if this had not been the 20th century, these these people would have insisted on on- on remaining going under way, and that is what I mean there and there is that if there is a change in thinking that there are a number of people in Europe who feel that they should go at a time when the people in Africa feel they should —" "I wonder, I wonder whether really a... We're not overlooking one of the most ?cruel? things, namely that if
we had not had the United Nations, this might have been delayed a long while, the thing that makes it secure for small nations today is the fact that the United Nations exists. Well, I'm not sure -- I think it helps, but I must confess I do think that the British decision to get out of India was not a United Nations decision, and was in the historical pattern. This isn't what I mean, I don't mean that the United Nations makes a decision, but I mean that there's a feeling of confidence that the small nations have, lies largely in the fact that since there is the United Nations and that it does have an effect on world opinion. As a forum, yes. It's a forum where they can be sure of being heard. It's more than that. Even for them. Mrs. Roosevelt, it ties up with the question -- several -- a minute ago. Why have the people increased the pace, why have they decided to go so fast? The background for that of course was in part the fact that at
the end of World War 2, the UN's in the spotlight of international opinion on the colonialism as it never had been turned before. The background for that was the Atlantic pact, the four freedoms, the fact that colonial people themselves were participating in a war for freedom and they came home and wanted it and so they wanted to increase the pace. Moreover in addition to what Mrs. Roosevelt has said the international community organized in the United Nations today is a sort of international club. These new states emerging into independence are not lonely anymore. They can come into this organization. They're not dependent upon their former masters. They sit as equals with all the other states, they feel a part of an international community, they can get help from it - which is their right to
do. And so this gives them an encouragement which they otherwise could not have. Yes, that's all right as long as you get away from the right colonial power, but it's no- it's absolutely no, uh, no consolation to Eastern Europe or alas, the Tibetans. I think it's right that you should stress the United Nations and Heaven knows, I would stress it. But I think also you've got to have a certain degree of the beginnings of a liberal philosophy in the metropolitan power as well, because if you don't, well. Why don't we turn this question around and instead of talking about the speed up of the timetable and whether it's too fast, let's talk about the problems that are being raised by the sudden coming, on-coming of independence and certainly Mr. Nyerere has his hands full of these and we keep on hearing people say that he's handling them almost better than anybody else, if not better than anybody else. So we might ask him a little bit. How how would a multi-racial society for example operate in Tanganyika when you have fully taken over power, Mr. Nyerere? Well first we don't like to refer to our society as a multi-racial society because this
was a political term which was created, I think, largely by the colonial powers to show that we were in a special category either in Africa or in the world and in actual fact it's not true. Where is, where is the part of the world which is, which is not multi-racial? I mean the whole world is, groups of people living together. This was a political term created in our part of Africa in East, Central, and South Africa, and this was the problem where democracy could not work because this was a big problem. For that reason we don't like to refer to the term multiracial and--. It's very hard to avoid using these sensitive phrases, what should we refer to? Well why, I've never I've never heard the word being used applied to England or applied to Germany, or even this country, which is clearly multi-racial. It's not quite as easy to apply it to England, but to this country it has to be applied. It should be applied, but--. Should we say a democratic society?
Exactly. If I could interrupt just a moment, I think it ought to be made clear why this point is so important to Mr. Nyerere because he's the one African leader in the whole continent who is leading all groups in his society, not only Africans, but with Asians and Europeans in the party. And they're working together. Working together under his leadership. Let me say that at home, Europeans, Asians, Africans, and that's why in my first answer I referred to them as indigenous tribes and the new tribes in Tanzania. I caught that. These are all Tanganyikans, Who are binding themselves together to achieve their independence and build a Tanganyika nation. They are, whether they came from Asia or they came from Greece or they came from England, these are Tanganyika nationalists. Their rights are not rights of Europeans, or rights of Africans, or rights of Asians, or rights of
Arabs. These are rights of individual citizens of Tanganyika and I don't see why in Tanganyika we cannot leave our rights of citizenship, our duties of citizenship on loyalty to the country, instead of the color of a person's skin or the texture of a person's hair. We see ourselves that this is not a problem which has started in Tanganyika, it has always been there and if people want to build a democratic society they can build it. Well just to raise some of the really difficult problems, at least that there are in other countries, are you up against the kind of problem, for example, such as Kenya has in the land in the Highlands. Do you have a land reform problem or program that you've got to work out? Have the whites had any special positions which will need to be merged into the new democracy? No, fortunately we don't have-- we never in Tanganyika reserved the whole problems
And called the Kenya highlands or Tanganyika highlands, we have no Tanganyika highlands. One should, bearing out Dr. Bunche's point, say that one reason why is that in 1919 Tanganyika came under an old League of Nations mandate, and therefore this kind of transfer couldn't occur. Isn't that one of the reasons? I well, no I must not leave it at that. It would be very unfair to the British if I just left it there. It depends also upon administering power because after all, Southwest Africa was amended too. True. I think you've got to put the mandate status, or the trust status must not be taken separately from the management of power or the administering of authority. In Tanganyika, we didn't have the Tanganyika highlands. And therefore to us it's not as if the Europeans had a group, a province which was their province. They have individual rights to land and we say we are quite prepared to see-- as long as they are citizens of the country. Against this background would you have any suggestions as to either how
your experience might help Kenya and Tom Mboya and his colleagues next door to your country? Or have you any idea of how they might work out that very difficult land reform problem. Are they going to be able to work it out peaceably? Well I have said before, I think I can repeat it because to me it's quite obvious, that I have no lesson to teach to Tom Mboya and the other Kenya African leaders. The lesson from Tanganyika is a lesson by the Europeans and the Asians. And it's the Europeans in Kenya who must learn from the Europeans in Tanganyika, who must look upon themselves as individual citizens of Kenya and must seek for individual rights and not for European rights. Or not for racial rights. Are you at all hopeful that that will happen after the London Conference? I am certain that is going to happen. I must say that I would agree, if you think of the change in the Kenyan outlook in the last ten years, the emergence of men like Mr. Blundell, who are feeling their
way to precisely to this concept, not of group rights but of individual rights. I would go all the way with Mr. Nyerere on that, I think it's going to come, though I think there might well be a small hard core who won't accept the new order. Will they leave? They should leave because after all if you don't accept the condition in which the country in which you're going to live then-- this has happened to others after all, you know. Are the first reports accurate? Some of them are leaving or preparing to leave already because I've read reports of fine villas for sale. Yes. Nigel, I have just one little point on that. I do think nonetheless that as it's awfully hard to make a small group of people pay for a history which they don't understand, but I think it would be reasonable for the British government at some point to give some compensation to take them away. Because this this is some sort of -- if they go leaving behind fully developed estates, then give them some transfer pay, because you know they haven't caught up. But it's awfully hard to penalize them.
But that isn't a matter for Africa, it's a matter for the British government. What is penalizing? I mean, quite frankly this is absurd. These fellows are offered rights of citizenship in Kenya. If they quit, they quit. Who compensates them? Well, then let them sell out. Nobody's punishing them, people are offering them stay in Kenya as a Kenyan citizen with equal rights with everyone. If you quit, what compensation do you want? With a bill of rights to protect them. With a bill of rights to protect them? Yes, I think John and I for a degree of reason in older people, which isn't always there, and I think is awfully hard to expect older groups, especially small ones, to understand this. I mean I agree with you, but I just wonder whether you can't ease some transition. This would be the British. Oh no no, I was thinking about the British government no no no no no no I didn't suggest for a moment, not the Kenya government. I think I understand what you mean because I can see that they came there probably feeling they were helping to develop something for the
British government. They have developed something for the British government but certainly not enough along the lines of Kenya. Not that Kenya should do it. Oh no no no. I have got it. I wonder if I could revert for a moment with a question to your introductory statement. As I recall you made reference to democratic institutions. What might be needed to to enable these new states to carry them? And I'd like to put this question to Mr. Nyerere. It seems to me that we in this country may be in for some disillusionment if we assume that these new state-- newly independent states on the African continent are going to model their political and economic systems pretty much after our own? That is, along the lines of what we call Western democracy, Western parliamentary
institution. That's going to happen to us in many countries, not only in Africa. I'm afraid that may not be the course in Africa for many reasons because they will not find them suitable to their needs, for other reasons, but I'd like to hear Mr. Nyerere's views on that subject. Well I must say, since I have been here during the last five weeks I have been asked this question, "are we going to form democracies in Africa, or are we going to be dictatorships?" and all this. And actually the question has come around on whether we are going to have a multi- party system in Africa or whether we are going to have a mono- a mono-party system, whether the governments of the countries are going to be run by the governments or not. Now I must say, I believe I am a Democrat myself. On the other hand I cannot-- how in a country like Tanganyika you could have a two-party system? Certainly for the first years. We are in opposition after all. We are in opposition to the
colonial government which is already there. We build the whole people together to ask this is not a party issue, this is a national issue to us. And we have all the people united together, not in actual fact in a political party, but in a nationalist movement. And it is this nationalist movement with all the people intending communists, intending capitalists, intending socialists, all sorts. They're all there, until they have achieved their freedom. Then it is this nationalist movement which forms the very first government. Now, an opposition can only arise when the issues are there. I mean, I just interrupt with that point. For this explanation, in this country Mr. Nyerere there is a tendency on the part of some people to attribute to nationalism only bad connotations. It's almost a bad word. Certainly it's nationalism that's running wild in Africa you see. I would submit that there are good and bad manifestations of nationalism even today.
And anyhow I think what the people of Africa are after is freedom. Well that's true and I think to an American audience it's really not very difficult because after all what happened when the Americans wanted their freedom? They united themselves all together. They formed a one-party government, in actual fact. Until the issues were then primed for the parties to group themselves separately. Not on the issue of the Declaration of Independence. How could you have an opposition to the Declaration of Independence? You didn't have. Could you tell us then how would freedom and the democratic system and the ballot box and so forth operate through the kind of a one-party system that you're describing? In September, in my own country we are going to have an election. This is going to be a true and free election and we are certain of winning all the seventy-one seats. We also know that because there is the opposition, which is the present government, and we are going to fight all the teeth and we will all the seats. This is a true election. That this means there is no
democracy in the country. No. It's not true because within the nationalist movement itself you have groups with different views. And when you come to actual policy, especially after you have formed the government, when you come to how you are going to tax the people, how you are going to spend money on education, how you are going to spend money on health, and how you are going to spend money on -- The issues will come up. The issues will define themselves and you have the democratic sections. Say you have one party and there is an opposition there, You do not rule out by law the possibility of an opposition? No I don't in actual fact, I hope an opposition is going to come, but an opposition must have a respectable issue. And a respectable issue can only come after Independence. It ought to be real enough. It's got to be real. There's an analogy here between the way in which the party system developed in the West. I mean we we seem to think that we got a party system in the early stages of a free government, this is not the case. The party system is a late development and I think that what is
perfectly compatible with, say the first 25 years of independence, is this movement of national union to tackle the appalling problems which lie in creating the state? On the other hand there is another aspect of democracy, which perhaps we don't think of quite so much, which was also important. And that is while having this tremendous national effort to build a nation up, then it's also important to safeguard just those individual rights about which you are speaking. In other words, the Bill of Rights is fully as important to democracy as this party thing. I think we over insist on the party and under insist in our thinking. On the freedoms of the individual. To me, I think it was a very exciting thing that the the Kenya group in London and the African-- the Africans in London at the Kenya conference brought Thurgood Marshall from the United States, an American Negro, to advise them on what amounted to setting up a system of human rights which would operate for the benefit of the whites in Kenya, ultimately.
Well, no one could be better qualified to work on a bill of rights than Thurgood Marshall. And in this case, this was a white minority. A little poetic justice. A little poetic justice, a lot of poetic justice. I had another point on this creating the Bill of Rights because even this I don't think is entirely simple, because our concept of the Bill of Rights is built up upon a very internally peaceful society. But I do notice one thing, and this is inevitable, with human nature being what it is, but the moment there is a real national crisis, we do to some extent bridge our own Bill of Rights. And I think a lot of the criticism for example directed now at Ghana about aspects of the abridgment of the Bill of Rights, which are regrettable, overlook the extent to which there are tribal elements in these societies which try to pull them apart again. In other words nation building is not always easy in a highly tribal state. And therefore this too must be taken into account. I don't think you have this problem in Tanganyika. We don't have it, but there is another one. I think this question of
democracy and all this, first you were right in saying democracy must emphasize the rights of the individual and the way a government is chosen. I keep on saying myself, if a government cannot be removed without assassination, there is no democracy there. It's really the individual rights and the way a government.... The right of judging the government or election. Now in Africa we have the problem you are mentioning of building a nation from a country which is artificial by nature. You have these tribes together and you try to make them into a nation. This is a problem. The other one which the older nations never face when they became independent, is this push to develop the countries. You've got to to develop our countries. We've got to give the people water, education, and all this. This is sudden... And suddenly... And a weak government-- cannot do this. No, and you haven't got the capital, which perhaps you had when you were
under a big power. You might count on a certain amount going in. All the time the outside world is all the time saying "Julius, what are you doing in Tanganyika?" They want me to work miracles in the country, and then they want me to have a very weak government which can't do anything. How right you are. Well this brings us logically to the point of turning around now to the question of economic development and some of the very real difficulties that not only you, but all of independent Africa is facing. Where is the money coming from? If the funds, which have normally come from colonial countries, are partly cut off or largely cut off, where is the investment coming from? Let me answer to this question of funds which come from the colonial powers. Let me say I don't know what other countries have received from colonial powers. We in Tanganyika have not received very much. We have the Rufiji scheme, and Dr. Bunche will know about the Rufigi scheme. Where we need about eight eight million pounds. The other day I was working in my mind. The
British, including the Germans, during the 75 years that we have been under colonial rule, if we put all of the money together which we have received both from Germany and Britain, it does not add up to one fifth of what I need for the Rufigi scheme. So that this emphasis of our money we have been getting from the colonial powers is not relevant. We've been a poor people all the time and it won't change our poverty very much, by becoming independent. This is true of Tanganyika, but there was a big change after the war from 1944 onwards. And one of the problems with French West Africa, for example, is the French government has been putting in something like 250 million dollars worth of infrastructure in local ports and harbors. They've had their interest in doing it, but it's been, you know, it's been cash. And what is-- the great question is can one find ways of ensuring this flow of capital, which Heaven knows is needed for maximum speed of development, without it merely being another form of colonial control? Well I feel the answer can be provided in this. I think one of the problems of Africa is going to be just this need,
our need for technical assistance, for finance, to develop our country is a fact that's there. Nobody can doubt it. Where I hope the countries capable of providing this aid won't involve us in the problem is they must not exploit our need in order to get us involved in international politics in which we are not really--. This brings us right back to Dr. Bunche again. I have to get back to Barbara's question. We'll take them in order. Now, because your husband, Barbara, Commander Jackson, is very much involved in just one of these schemes--. The commission of the development. And I wonder if you wouldn't say a word about the River Project. Well the point is, Ghana isn't entirely typical of the problem because owing to the to the fact that the cocoa crop is owned by the peasant farmer and is not an external plantation crop, a very large part of the money from cocoa
has stayed in the country, point number one. Point number two, cocoa has remained high since the war and therefore hasn't suffered from these enormous ups and downs of the primary crisis, which is I know a thing Mr. Nyerere must feel very strongly about because we give capital on one hand then say "whoops," down goes the price, and all the capital is virtually gone again. This is this is the curious way of running a railway, as they say. Well, in Ghana doesn't quite have that problem. But Ghana on the other hand has got a large resources in bauxite, and the whole of the west coast of Africa has got this tremendous supplies of potential hydroelectric power, which would be a potential for growth and the development on such a scale that you could consider the transformation of economies on the basis of this power. And where, pray, do they get the capital from? Well now, the water scheme I think is a perfect example of how not to do things. Because every five years this scheme has been in the forefront of Western discussion, how they're going to do it, how it's going to be essential. Then we have a moderate recession. Everyone says, "oh heavens, we've got so much bauxite
we've got so much aluminum. Of course we can't do it." Down goes the scheme again. Just wait, I must confess, for the day when the Russians begin to get thoroughly interested in Africa. Because when they do, then this whole question of Western primary prices that go up and down like this and Western interest in development that goes up and down with our trade recession, it's going to look very very stupid. That's all I can say. You've raised one of the hardest problems that the West is up against, because we have tried all kinds of marketing boards and price stabilization programs, and on the whole, up until now, we've fallen flat on our faces. I don't think we've tried awfully hard. Well that's the point I was going to raise. Haven't we still got a little a little distance yet to go? I was talking with a group of economists recently who took this position. No one of them was willing to say this is the way to do it. But they all said this is the problem that we can, with ingenuity and the desire to do it, solve. Now you've put your finger up with a desire. What I think is lacking is that the
Western powers have simply not just faced up to the problem of capital for Africa. They either do it on an ex-Metropolitan, ex-colonial basis, or they do it on a private venture capital which won't go in because they think things are insecure. Or they rely on exports, income which goes up and down. So that's what you just said. They think things are insecure. And that is one of the troubles that we have. We've watched for a long time in South America and going to see it in the countries of Africa. Capital, which is private capital, is going to be very uncertain. It's on a new course. It doesn't feel that it's risky. In a secure spot. That's one reason why I think Ralph Bunche comes in, because I believe that this will do much better when it comes through an organization
where many people are involved. An international organization. An international-- Going through the United Nations, I would say, I think that's what you were going to raise. The question of what is commonly defined as the issue of multilateral versus bilateral aid. Both in technical assistance and even in capital investment. But don't let's kid ourselves that nothing is going to come through the United Nations unless the capital rich countries have decided to do it. Of course. I mean I would go one step behind and say they haven't yet decided to do it -- I think they have to be brought to do it that way. Unless they're willing to do it on their own. They move slowly but they do move. In the last couple of years we've had action in addition to the regular technical assistance program, on the special fund for capital development, which Paul Hoffman heads on OPEC's-- this operation to provide a high level executive personnel to govern, the new governments that need it, It means a little addition to the assistance. An international development association,
If properly developed, could do the same thing. But I think I should mention that the African states, some of them not yet independent as associate members, meeting in Tangier at the end of January in the Economic Commission for Africa were overwhelmingly in favor of international, multilateral or United Nations aid instead of bi-lateral--. It's the only thing that takes this sort of colonial taint off. Not the colonial one alone. Not the colonial one alone. There is the colonial one, where the metropolitan power after colonialism number one is off, they want to use colonialism. Number two, which is an economic one. There is that one, which we resent. And the other one is the world in which we find ourselves now, Communist world, and and noncommunist world. We get involved in the politics
of this rivalry and our need for capital, for aid is exploited to force us into one of the blocs or another. And we feel for those two reasons to avoid again a continuation of a new colonialism and to avoid getting into issues which to us are not really the issue. The issues now in Africa are to raise the standard of living... And therefore we feel channeling --. You're not really getting involved in the Cold War. A United Nations agency is the answer. If the nations are geniune in doing this, why do they want to compete about it? They can put all the money and all the aid through a United Nations agency and let the needing countries get the money from them. And use it most efficiently. Why don't we now face the difficult question. I don't think any of us particularly wants to dive into the problem of communism and the problem of East versus West in Africa, but it's on the minds of a great many people in this country, and we probably ought to face it head
on. It's much more in the minds of the people in this country then in the minds of people in Africa. I would say there's one aim that we should have in the West, and that is by every means in our power to keep the Cold War out of Africa. And not to consider our policies in these terms at all. In that case, since you're all agreed on that and since I also agree with you, let me play the devil's advocate and argue the other side of the case for a moment against my own position. We have here probably only one case where communism in Africa has become an issue in the news, which is in Guinea. With, what is it 35 million dollars that Mr. Khrushchev has loaned to Guinea and I believe now the Soviet Union has tied up about 60 percent of the exports of Guinea. And they printed the bank notes. To a great many people-- and they printed the banknotes-- to a great many people in this country that raises the kind of warning which the United States didn't want to have to face after World War II, but found that it had to face. Namely the question of infiltration, which is in actual fact
a more serious problem than many of us are willing to recognize. Have we such a problem here? Why should it, since you're playing the role of devil's advocate maybe you would answer this question: why should it be considered so, in the view of the fact that one reads regularly in the press, that trade between the United States and Soviet Union is increasing? Well I think the answer to that, which probably would be given, is simply that if the communist system managed to get its hooks sufficiently far into a country economically, so that it would be able to play it like a fish on the end of the line so to speak, then it would be able to use that for political advantage. There's only one condition under which that would be the case, and that would be if the West merely said "Well we now would have nothing more to do with this country." But as a point of fact we've heard this, we heard this when Khrushchev sent money to India, we heard it when he lent money to Indonesia, we heard it when there was about a deal with Salaam in Burma, and we heard it, heaven knows, last year about Iraq. The thing that looking
at all these countries is quite clear, is that they have continued to be themselves, and I think that Africa should have the benefit of the doubt. Well if you recall some of the headlines some years ago when it was agreed by India that the Soviet Union was to build a steel mill there. Yes exactly. On the other hand, just to argue the point one small step further, I think it probably is a fact, although I myself as an individual have been very uncomfortable about the American containment policy. But it probably succeeded in holding the line out through the Asian areas until those countries themselves were able to reach the point which they have reached now, where they understand the problem that they're up against and are willing to take a position against infiltration. I entirely disagree. I must confess I entirely disagree, I don't think it had anything to do with holding the line in Asia. I think containment did something quite definite in Europe, but that's different. I just don't think it's relevant. The relevant thing in Africa is that Africa should be able to grow and develop and get going. And if we have the right policies, there's absolutely no
reason why Cold War situations should develop. [crosstalk] Look I must say, I don't like this attitude of the West. Hammering on communism and communist infiltration in Africa and all this business. What has communism to do with us in the first place? At present it's not an issue at all. But in the second place, it does no good to the Western powers themselves. Here we are needing assistance, and the Western powers in actual fact are saying, "If it had not been for Moscow, we don't look at Africa at all. But Moscow is there, now we must look at Africa. Because if we don't do it the communists will come in." Now, let me put it -- the question the question you put about Guinea getting some assistance from Russia. Supposing I got some assistance from the United States of America. Is this infiltration? Is this what the United States intends? Infiltration? There is an inconsistency about it as
a matter of fact because Ethiopia has received assistance from--. Is that American infiltration? But no one is claiming that Ethiopia is subject to--. Dangerous Swedish infiltration. But Guinea is different, you see. Just to switch around in exactly the opposite direction, Is it perhaps possible, and are we saying here that the continent of Africa might give the United States and American foreign policy its first chance to deal with the problems of developing countries without having to raise the communist bogey and to turn its back on what obviously has been one of the bitterest aspects of our relationship with many of the countries which are in the unaligned position in Asia? Well, if you eliminate the word "first". I have heard myself from some of my American friends that if I had a few communists in my pocket in Tanganyika, and waved them,
I don't have them--. It would be worth a great deal of money, wouldn't it? There's an old story about that, it's a way to get aid. That is the story that should be told. Here he is, I'd like to have them to wave. But still all the same, I do think in fairness now, to the Western governments who have also to say that in the case of India, which I followed very closely, steadily, steadily over the last 10 years, the realization has come that if the Indian plan is worth backing, its worth backing because it is the Indian plan, period. And I would say that this is the attitude that we must have for Africa. Africa is worth helping to develop because it is the main interest of the Africans to do it and to get ahead. Is the best policy for the United States is to encourage non-alignment and the individual integrity of African countries? I would say there is another thing to be remembered and I would like to ask you, Ralph Bunche, and that is, isn't Africa at present offering an opportunity to young America? Because after all, the people who are
going to be important in Africa, many of them are going to be young, isn't it offering to young America, if they are willing to take it, an opportunity for service, which we have not had perhaps in a long while before? I fully agree. I think it's a wonderful opportunity. I think what's happening in Africa today is just about the most exciting thing in the world today. There's a great need for assistance, trained people of all kinds. I could only wish that we in this country had much more knowledge of Africa than we have. We're only awakening to it now. I think our schools, our colleges, our universities are very delinquent in this regard because there's very little talk anywhere in our schools about Africa. There's very little opportunity for Americans to learn about it. They're beginning to read about it in the press because it's news. But there's no background of knowledge,
Which prepares our people to take full advantage of these opportunities. Can I put in a little cynical word at this point, and that is that although I think it's absolutely true in particular in the whole field of education, there could be a tremendous amount of useful interchange of help given to Africa by sending technicians and people in politics. The fact remains that unless we make some changes in our methods of promotion back home, they won't go. Because a young man--. [crosstalk] What do you mean? A young man in the university. He may be exactly the kind of person who could do a splendid job in, say, East Africa. He-- to be useful he should stay there five years, because you know, I think Mr. Nyerere will agree, these experts who come in for six months might just as well stay home, they really should. But five years, good. You can make a contribution and then when you come back at the end of five years, who is headmaster of the local high school? It isn't you. In other words you lose this continuity and I think that if both educational institutions and business firms would make it a rule that for the upper reaches of administration, people would have to serve abroad. You'd get better people and at the same time would
improve the quality of top leadership, and this is perhaps interesting as well. I'd endorse that most heartily and say we could use the same principle in the United Nations. I think you're right. I think that in the United States that's one of the big changes we need. An understanding that anyone who is willing to give a certain amount of time in a nation outside of their own country has a certain credit given them for that at home. That it's a regular procedure that they are considered on a higher level when they return, for the simple reason that they're doing a great deal for their own country. Our great trouble is that we don't know anything about Africa. We don't know anything. This would help too, Mrs. Rosewood, wouldn't it, to solve what I suppose we refer to nowadays somewhat loosely as our "ugly American" problem; so many Americans go over to these countries, not by any means the people that we would like to send, of the quality that we would like to send or with the training and experience that we would like to send, and they find themselves maladjusted and complaining about their status in the local consulate and
wondering when they can get out of this awful place in order to get somewhere else. You spoke about the younger people a moment ago. It seems to me that the younger people in this country, as I see them going around from schools and colleges, are ready for this kind of thing. They're the ones who want to do it. They're the ones who are very anxious to do it, if they get the chance. I'd love to ask, Mr. Nyerere about an idea which I must say I think of immense importance to Africa, and I'm sure that Ralph will agree. And that is that we don't really have attached to the U.N., a really high grade pool of administrative civil servants of high quality, who can feed in over the next 25 years, who can help the governments in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. I would add Europe for heaven's sake because I think a number of governments need some help there too. Don't omit the Western hemisphere. But just have this idea that if a trained body of men on whom governments can call if they need someone, don't you think this would be a helpful thing?
It is exactly the same thing. You know Ghana, for instance. Ghana had to retain some British civil servants there. We have been appealing ourselves to the European civil servants in Tanganyika to remain in Africa after independence. Now, this again, I mean, Guinea is another typical example of this where the French just pulled out and here was Guinea left without people. Now, a pool at the United Nations, if the United Nations could work for us as a labor exchange. [crosstalk] This is exactly the purpose of OPEC. [crosstalk] I've heard... I've heard people at the United Nations discuss it. There's one thought I think also we ought to make. There's a sort of warning to the American public as to what may happen in Africa on the economic front, because this will again involve their appraisal of what's happening there. I think it's inevitable that in Africa the economic progress, and considerable economic progress has been made in the last
decade, that this will more and more involve action by government, initiatives by government, rather than by private entrepreneurs. Governments will be taking the place of private entrepreneurs, not only in the planning and investment operations and even in managerial work, and so this may very easily be misinterpreted. I agree, and do I think that nothing one can say to America on this subject is more important than this. In the situation of the underdeveloped areas, the important thing to remember is that what private enterprise needs is firm government action, affirmative government action and big government action. Because if you don't have that in these countries you will have no development at all. Therefore this idea that there's a conflict between the two is nonsense, there's not. I think the American people on the whole have passed that hurdle, particularly in the case of India. They're recognizing that they have to work with the governments. There's also a very interesting wrinkle which has come up recently. It's been
suggested by a number of Americans, notably Donald David of the Ford Foundation, that American private concerns could be very profitably hired on a contract basis by governments in Africa, for example, so that they are entirely subject to the African government, to the conditions to the government, setting the conditions under which they operate. So the government has complete control from its point of view. Meanwhile the private company under contract brings in its technicians and its know-how and its management and all the rest of it. That seems to be a fairly common. But that of course is, take the Kariba Dam, that's exactly how it's been built. I mean, the Kariba Dam is government and World Bank money and a very large Italian firm doing the building. I mean this is common form. We haven't said a word about federation. [crosstalk] Only a few minutes. What can I say about that? Well, is it coming or isn't it? Could you tie up with it also some comments on what we
commonly hear, pan-Africanism? All I can say, I mean in the one minute left--. You have seven minutes, or three minutes. Is that that sentiment of oneness in Africa which you don't find anywhere else, any other continent. That's one, we don't have to take credit for it. It has been imposed upon us by the colonial situation itself. The states which are going to receive independence are the colonial ones, which were cut out by the colonial powers. The tendency will be for these states to group themselves together in bigger units. Where this eventually will lead to, I don't know, I can't tell. But the tendency will to be towards bigger groupings. At the moment people seem to be somewhat discouraged about federalism. They're saying that some of the early experiments in this direction or moves in this direction have failed. Seems to me that this was being pessimistic too soon. Where? Where have they failed? Well, there was always the question raised of Ghana and Guinea. Oh heavens.
[crosstalk] The governments of Mali, there have been several cases of where--. [crosstalk] The biggest federation in Africa is in Nigeria, which has not been given a chance yet and I think it's going to be a great success. I don't want to cut this off but there's one question I'm just dying to ask Julius here, before we wind up, because I want to check his views with my own impressions and observations. I think it's very important. On this month-long trip through Africa, despite all the ferment going on there, I was impressed by the fact that talking with Africans - West, Central, East, North there was not the slightest evidence anywhere of any racial feeling, of any racial animosity, and I must say even in areas where there was actual friction and conflict. I think that's a very encouraging thing. Do you agree that there is no racial feeling on the part
of the Africans? I think that we have been able to distinguish the colonial issue from the racial issue. Right. May I put in a word there? West Africa and Ghana, this is absolutely true of Ghana. There is no racialism. Again, this has been created in the minds of people who look down from a distance and who don't really know the facts. It brings us back to the fact that we ought to be studying Africa just as we are this afternoon, somewhat more carefully. You have, I think, allayed the fears of a great many people today. They have much less to fear in some ways by the answer to that question. You really feel there is no racial trouble going to arise? ...not the least of racial animosity anywhere. I would go further than that and say that in Ghana you have a society where you've reached the blessed stage where people aren't even bothering to think about it. Well now I have to say that our time has come to a close. And I have to thank you very much, Mr. Nyerere, for coming to us today from far
away. And you, Barbara Ward, Lady Jackson, we are very grateful to you. And also to you, Ralph Bunche, because I know how busy you are and how hard it is to come away. And so I thank you too, Mr. Davis who are with us each time. And it has been a great pleasure. And now I want to say that next month we will talk about the picture, the image of the United States abroad. Until then, au revoir. [music] The Honorable Julius Nyerere is expected to be the first prime minister of Tanganyika. Barbara Ward, contributing editor of the London Economist, is the author of "Five Ideas
that Changed the World." The Honorable Ralph Bunche is undersecretary of the United Nations, the highest ranking American in the organization. Mr. Davis is the managing editor of The Christian Science Monitor. Photos courtesy of the American Society of African culture, the British Information Service, and the United Nations. Special music courtesy of the African Music Society of Johannesburg, South Africa. This program was recorded on Sunday, March 6. Mrs. Roosevelt's special guests, on the next Prospects of Mankind, will discuss the American image abroad. This is National Educational Television.
Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt
Episode Number
Africa: Revolution in Haste
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-09w0w2sd).
Episode Description
One of the key leaders in Africa's nationalist movement has implored the major nations of the world to keep from exploiting the immediate needs of new African nations in order to involve them in international politics. Julius Nyerere (en yuh RAY run), guest of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt on her National Educational Television program "Prospects of Mankind," said that African nations would rather receive future aid through a multilateral program of the United Nations than through bilateral agreement with individual nations. Nyerere, expected to be the first prime minister of his native Tanganyika, chided western nations for their lack of interest in Africa. Nyerere said he wished he had a "few Communists" in his pocket to wave. He added that he had none in his country to use for this purpose. Appearing with Mr. Nyerere were: Ralph Bunche: UN Undersecretary for Special Political Affairs; Barbara Ward (Lady Jackson), British economist and writer now residing in Ghana; and Saville Davis, managing editor of The Christian Science Monitor. Asked whether African nationalists were moving too fast, Mr. Bunche replied that he knew of no "absolute criteria" for when a people were ready for freedom. "When people seek freedom, they are always impatient," he added. To Mr. Nyerere, the problem was akin to that of a theft form one's home. He said that if a man steals his jacket, he does not ask when the owner would like to have the jacket back. "It was mine all along," the nationalist leader continued. "I may not look as smart in it as you look in it, but it is mine." Mrs. Roosevelt suggested that the existence of the United Nations in the form of a World Community has speeded the timetable for the emerging independence of Tanganyika and its neighbors. Mr. Bunche agreed that the UN had put a spotlight on colonialism and added the Atlantic Pact and World War II's fight for freedom as contributing factors. He said that under the United Nations these new nations can sit as equals with the major powers. Regarding fears of one-party leadership in the emerging nations, Mr. Nyerere emphasized that nationalism so joins the various groups that they form one party. He predicted that his party would win all 71 seats to be contested in coming elections. Mrs. Ward suggested that some African nations could be aided in the solution of land problems by assistance from major countries including Great Britain. She suggested that European countries could reimburse landowners who want to leave before the native government comes to power. Mr. Nyerere called this approach absurd. He said that these landowners should consider themselves citizens of the emerging nations. "No one is punishing them," he continued. "They are quitting." He felt that no special compensation should go to the Europeans who forsake their holdings in Africa to leave. Both Mrs. Ward and Mr. Nyerere emphasized the lack of racial feeling in Ghana and Tanganyika. Mrs. Ward has resided in Ghana for several years and Mr. Nyerere can point to strong support from European in his country. The panelist agreed that American youth should look to opportunities in Africa as they plan their own careers. It was suggested that American industry and educational institutions should credit executives and teachers for work in Africa as part of their seniority and career development. The program was produced for the National Educational Television and Radio Center by WGBH, Boston and Brandeis University. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
This is a monthly series of nine one-hour television episodes featuring Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. The former first lady serves as the host and moderator. On each episode she will be joined by three guests: 1) A key foreign figure such as a visiting prime minister, a United Nations representative or a man or woman of prominence representing his country unofficially. 2) An important American in public life or a person of equal consequence from the academic world. 3) A distinguished representative from the press or other mass media who will focus the discussion on the relevant issues and controversies at stake. On each episode Mrs. Roosevelt and her guests will discuss a current international problem of major importance in which the United States is involved. The program is made up as two 29-minute episodes with a station break between the two portions. "Prospects of Mankind" is a television series designed to provide a wide public with those facts and opinions important to an understating of the underlying fabric of current international problems. It derives its inspiration from the ideals and endeavors of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. On each episode Mrs. Roosevelt joins three distinguished guests who through their position of authority or expression of opinion have a significant influence on the denervation or interpretation of current issues. Saville Davis and Erwin D. Canham, editors of The Christian Science Monitor, at times assist in moderating the discussions. These program is produced for National Educational Television by WGBH-TV in cooperation with Brandeis University. In addition to the audience of educational stations throughout the country they have been seen in the key areas of New York and Washington, DC, through the facilities of the Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Talk Show
Social Issues
Global Affairs
Politics and Government
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Associate Producer: Michaelis, Diana Tead
Consultant: Fuchs, Lawrence H.
Director: Davis, David M. (David McFarland), 1926-2007
Director: Davis, David M. (David McFarland), 1926-2007
Executive Producer: Morgenthau, Henry, 1917-
Executive Producer: Morgenthau, Henry, 1917-
Guest: Bunche, Ralph J.
Guest: Davis, Saville
Guest: Ward, Barbara
Guest: Nyerere, Julius
Host: Roosevelt, Eleanor
Producer: Noble, Paul
Producer: Noble, Paul
Producing Organization: WGBH
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
Production Assistant: Kassel, Virginia
Production Coordinator: Gilbert, Emanuel
Writer: Michaelis, Diana Tead
Writer: Michaelis, Diana Tead
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 308211 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Identifier: 109503 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: VHS
Generation: Copy: Access
Identifier: 0000126885 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: D3
Generation: Master
Identifier: 25410 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: Betacam
Generation: Master
Identifier: 02281A (WGBH Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Kinescope
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt; 106; Africa: Revolution in Haste,” 1960-03-13, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt; 106; Africa: Revolution in Haste.” 1960-03-13. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt; 106; Africa: Revolution in Haste. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from