195. National Intelligence Estimate1

NIE 60/70–65


The Problem

To examine those situations and trends in Sub-Saharan Africa likely to affect the stability of the area and Western security interests over the next three to five years.


Political and social turmoil is virtually certain during the period of this estimate in most of the states of Sub-Saharan Africa. The general trend in the area—to which there are some exceptions—is probably toward more radical policies, and certainly toward more vigorous manifestations of African nationalism, in a variety of forms. (Paras. 1–12, 28–29)
The various “liberation” movements in white-dominated southern Africa have made little headway despite considerable emotional support elsewhere in Africa. Meanwhile, white resistance has stiffened. Although most independent African states, as well as the USSR and China, probably will step up assistance to the nationalists, it is almost certain that white governments will command sufficient power and determination to contain “liberation” movements at least for the period of this estimate. (Paras. 36–42)
Economic growth in most areas will be very slow; indeed, setbacks are probable in a number of countries. There is a desperate shortage of virtually all kinds of technical and managerial skills; indeed, the basic institutions and staff for economic development are often inadequate or absent. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that most African countries will obtain external assistance or investment on anything approaching the scale required for sustained economic development. (Paras. 47–50)
The Communists have made substantial progress in expanding their presence in Africa, and the situation will provide them with new [Page 298] opportunities. Western influence in Africa will remain important during the period of this estimate, but it will decline, in part because both the UK and France will gradually shed presently expensive commitments. There is a good chance that a few African states will collaborate closely with either Moscow or Peiping, and become, at least temporarily, highly unfriendly to the West. The foreign policies of many, perhaps most, African states on many major international issues during the period of this estimate. However, even the militant radicals prize their freedom of movement, and we consider it unlikely that any African country will become a full-fledged Communist state, or will reject all ties with the West. (Paras. 30–35, 54–57)
African relations with the US will remain ambivalent and difficult. Nevertheless, we do not believe that in most instances difficulties will decisively affect such material interests as the US has in Africa. No African raw materials or other resources are essential to US security. The US is likely to be able to retain the Kagnew facility at least during Haile Selassie’s lifetime. Other less important installations and privileges seem safe during the period of this estimate. (Paras. 58–60)

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  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency: Job 79–R01012A, ODDI Registry of NIE and SNIE Files. Secret; Controlled Dissem. According to a note on the cover sheet, the estimate was submitted by Director of Central Intelligence John A. McCone and concurred in by the U.S. Intelligence Board on April 22.
  2. For purposes of this estimate, we have defined this area to include all the countries of Africa except the following: UAR, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Spanish Sahara. [Footnote in the source text.]