255. Paper Prepared by the Ambassador to Guinea (Attwood)0
SUGGESTED APPROACH TO TOURE
As I understood our last conversation, his [Toure’s] priorities are industrialization and education. These priorities are quite consistent with the aims of US aid programs in Africa. Therefore, we are prepared to propose to Guinea US aid for a comprehensive, balanced development program1 to include:
- A dam on the Konkoure River capable of providing sufficient power for a network of light industry within two years.
- Assistance in detailed planning of a diversified industrial center geared to Guinea’s three-year plan and powered by the dam.
- Increased generating capacity at Grande Chutte to meet Conak-ry’s immediate needs plus a quick start on essential plants.
- A training program—including staff and equipment—to prepare skilled Guinean administrative and technical personnel for positions in both industry and government.
- Assistance in expanding facilities for higher education at the projected University at Delaba.
- Staffing of an expanded English-teaching program under the Ministry of Education.
- An offer of food and other commodities in the US which would generate local currency as required to finance above projects.
- A Peace Corps contingent to be placed at the disposal of the Guinean Government for ancillary projects urgently needed by Guinea—these to be decided upon in consultation with Mr. Shriver.
We count on maximum Guinean participation in all phases of the program. The keynote of US aid is not charity but cooperation.
To speed the programming and implementation of the development program, an ICA mission consisting of ______ will arrive in Guinea on June ____.
To determine the scope and nature of the Peace Corps program, Mr. Sargent Shriver will be in Guinea on June ____ as President Kennedy’s personal representative and can discuss the matter with him then.
To facilitate the financing of portions of the program, we will urge a representative of the IBRD to come to Conakry to discuss with him the advantages of joining the IBRD.
(If mention is made of the big Konkoure Dam and/or smelter)
The USG is primarily interested in creating the conditions for sound economic development aimed at raising living standards. We feel that the program we propose is better designed to meet Guinea’s immediate problems—such as employment, production and education.
The big dam and smelter are essentially designed to support and expand the existing bauxite industry and will not show results for several years. We doubt if the American people will set aside this much money at this time for an African project that will not directly or promptly benefit people.
Our proposed program does not rule out the eventual construction of a big dam and smelter. Much depends on the trend of the world aluminum market. The private companies involved in the Fria and Boke might well be more disposed to reconsider the financing of this project in the future.
(If he says he is obliged to accept the Russianoffer to build the dam and smelter)
I will have to return to Washington to determine how this would affect our proposal. The problem is not that we object to his accepting Russian aid. The problem is that Russian preemption of Konkoure [Page 394] hydroelectric power for their purposes might make our development program no longer feasible.2
- Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Guinea, 1/61-5/61. Secret. Drafted by Attwood during his Washington consultations.↩
- Attached to the source text but not printed is a 15-page paper entitled “A US Aid Program for Guinea.”↩
- On May 25, Ambassador Attwood met with President Kennedy and outlined the proposed aid program for Guinea, which had been approved at a conference of representatives of the several interested bureaus and ICA. The President commented that if they could find the money, it looked good to him. (Department of State, AF/AFW Files: Lot 64 D 93, Guinea Aid Package 23.4) On May 31, Attwood presented the integrated U.S. aid proposal to President Sekou Toure in Conakry. (Telegram 537 from Conakry, June 1; ibid., Central Files, 770B.5-MSP/6-161)↩