10. Report by the Operations Coordinating Board0

OPERATIONS COORDINATING BOARD REPORT ON AFRICA SOUTH OF THE SAHARA (NSC 5818)

(Approved by the President—August 26, 1958)

(Period Covered: From: March 20, 1958 Through: January 14, 1959)

A. Summary Evaluation

1.
The rapid pace of political developments in the area, particularly in the dependent territories, has created a situation in which the United States often cannot perform a decisive role in view of its desire for orderly self-determination of dependent peoples on one hand and its commitments to its major European allies on the other. The United States, therefore, as seen in the case of Guinea1 finds itself in the middle of a controversy between an emerging African state and a European power with each side looking to us to influence the other. U.S. programs and operations being undertaken are generally still modest in scope with the exception of technical and economic assistance to Liberia. USIS and ICA programs are increasing but there is still much to be done particularly in the light of increasing political and limited economic activities by the Soviet bloc and UAR in Africa. Basic development loans in areas where there is little or no African participation in government, while undoubtedly of economic advantage to the country concerned, are looked upon by numerous indigenous Africans, rightly or wrongly, as being of primary benefit to the European interests. DLF has to date issued two loans in Africa (both in Liberia)2 and because of limited funds, and shortage of staff during the initial months of operation it has been severely limited in its effectiveness in this area. The British Government recently took steps which will contribute to the development of close and mutually advantageous economic relations between the UK and its African territories and former territories,3 and the European common market is establishing a large fund for economic assistance to African territories associated with [Page 40]common market members. There remains a need for more positive action in counteracting Communist penetration of African labor activities, youth groups and nationalist organizations.
2.
The Operations Coordinating Board does not recommend a review of NSC 5818. It is noted that the present policy covers the period prior to Calendar Year 1960.

[Here follows the body of the report.]

  1. Source: Department of State, S/PNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, NSC 5818 Series. Secret. Attached to a memorandum from the Executive Officer of the OCB, Bromley Smith, to the Executive Secretary of the NSC, dated January 20.
  2. In a referendum held in 14 French territories on September 28, 1958, only Guinea voted for independence and not to join the French Community.
  3. The sums were $3 million and $190,000.
  4. These steps were spelled out by Great Britain in September 1958 at the Commonwealth Trade and Economic Conference held at Montreal.