OBSERVATIONS ON TRENDS IN NON-INDEPENDENT AFRICA'S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM

A Report to the Executive Board of the American Committee on Africa
by George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa
New York, New York, United States
Undated, fall 1964
4 pages
 George Houser reports to the ACOA Board about his ninth trip to Africa to attend Malawi Independence and visit Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Lusaka, Leopoldville, Lagos, and Accra. He says that, during the second stage of Africa's development in 1960, problems of independence began to appear, one-party states emerged, and border disputes arose between Ethiopia and Somalia, Algeria and Morocco, Kenya and Somalia. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was formed and virtually declared war against apartheid and continued Portuguese domination in its African territories. Houser argues that a third stage of slowing change in Africa is beginning. The Congo is experiencing confusion and instability, with big consequences for Angola, whose rebel soldiers have freely crossed the Congo-Angolan border with little interference from Congo authorities. The Portuguese military has become much stronger, with some 50,000 Portuguese troops in Angola. There is no evidence that active combat will start soon in Mozambique; both Malawi and Zambia clearly don't want armed attack upon Mozambique from their territory. The South African Government has become stronger economically, politically, and militarily; investments in South Africa are increasing at an unprecedented rate, and the striking power of the military is 20 times greater than it was two years ago. Opposition organizations have been banned and their leaders are either in prison, under house arrest, or in exile. Sometime in 1965 the International Court of Justice will render its decision in the South West African case; however, even if it decides that South Africa has violated the Mandate, one cannot assume that the United Nations, or the great powers, or the African states will be able to implement the decision without considerable delay. The OAU’s Committee of Nine has made contributions to various freedom movements, but this is by no means enough to sustain them. The High Commission Territories of Basutoland, Swaziland, and Bechuanaland will probably become independent soon, but these territories are very dependent on trade with South Africa and will be greatly limited in what they will do to help rebel movements. Regarding Southern Rhodesia, although the African nationalist parties probably do not have the power to wrest control from the white minority, neither does the white minority have the power to go it alone in the face of opposition from Africa and much of the rest of the world. The report concludes that a long and frustrating struggle is ahead to end apartheid and achieve rule by those the majority of the people. The report mentions splits, Holden Roberto, the African National Congress (ANC), the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), tribal lines, Tanganyika, coups and attempted coups, military training, economic sanctions, an African Defense Force, Tshombe, Adoula, Dr. Banda, the recent Cairo meeting, African nationalism, blocks, the Casablanca and the Monrovia powers, copper, and communism. [This document was digitized by Zac Peterson who provided it to the African Activist Archive Project.] [Note on date: this report may have been circulated at the American Committee on Africa Executive Board meeting of September 21, 1964; see the meeting minutes on this website.]
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).