Summer 1972 trip to Africa
by George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa
New York, New York, United States
September 5, 1972
American Committee on Africa
Coverage in Africa:
, South Africa
, Southern Africa
, Democratic Republic of the Congo
, Republic of Congo
Report on George Houser’s fifteenth trip to Africa. In May, he attended the International Conference on Namibia in Brussels organized by SWAPO. Houser comments that, in London, the Africa Bureau, founded by Michael Scott in the 1950's, has virtually folded up, while the Anti-Apartheid Movement seems to be growing and is active in the sports campaign and on the issue of economic disengagement. Houser was in Rabat, Morocco for the June Council of Ministers Conference of the O.A.U., where the main business was who would follow Diallo Telli as Secretary-General. He had discussions with liberation movements representatives and O.A.U. staff people, such as Mohammed Sahnoun, and with other delegates such as John Malecela, Foreign Minister of Tanzania. For the first time, the O.A.U. allowed liberation movement representatives to attend the Summit part of the Conference. Houser came across little that would cause him to question ACOA’s position that the MPLA is doing the most effective job in Angola at this point. The only UNITA person he talked with was Jorge Sangumba, their representative in London. In Kinshasa, Houser visited GRAE headquarters several times, and he reports on the MPLA-GRAE Unity Talks. Houser talked with leaders of the three Zimbabwean external movements in Rabat, Lusaka, and Dar es Salaam. The newest movement is FROLIZI, the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe, formed by elements that left ZAPU and ZANU. Houser reports on the internalization of the southern African struggle, such as the strike of the Namibian workers and the protest against the British-Smith agreement through the ANC of Zimbabwe. Because of the strength of the South African government, South African movements have become the most external. SWAPO has had both an external and an internal existence, but has not been able to liberate any land inside the country. Houser writes about the emergence of the South African Student Organization, student strikes and protest actions, the Black People's Convention and, in Namibia, the South West African Convention. Houser attended the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the founding of FRELIMO in Dar es Salaam. Houser’s impression is that the U.S. government farther removed than ever from any significant contact with the movements. Houser says he received unusual publicity on this trip, primarily about his attempt to use the visa granted to him by the U.N. Council for Namibia, about which he reported to the Council.
Used by permission Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: George M. Houser (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections