ProgressI have dwelt at length on the problems of Africa because it is to them that our policies are of necessity addressed. But it is necessary also to recognize the progress which is taking place.
The return of peace to Nigeria was the paramount African event of 1970. That event was all the more welcome to us, for the American zeal to help reduce the anguishing human cost of that conflict led to some misunderstanding and strain in our relations with the Nigerian government. The United States views with admiration the humane and statesmanlike policy of reconciliation which Nigeria has adopted.
We ourselves know the suffering and bitterness which a civil war entails. Our country emerged stronger and more united. Nigeria, too, has emerged from the challenge stronger and united, and ready to assume the significant role in Africa which her size, her resources, and her 60 million people dictate. That is a development of the highest significance for the future stability and well-being of Africa. We welcome it.
I should also mention the striking progress which has been made in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Five years of peace have transformed that country from perhaps the most tortured of African states to one of the most stable. This development vindicates the faith in a united Congo which the United States displayed in darker days. President Mobutu's visit to Washington in August served to recall the support we extended to the Congo at that time, and to reaffirm the strong friendship between our two countries which has resulted.
The Emperor of Ethiopia, unique among world leaders in the length of his reign and his contribution to independent Africa, visited the United States in October. That occasion provided an opportunity for me to review with him the role of the United States in the economic progress of that ancient land, and to reaffirm the close ties of cooperation between our two countries. Ethiopia has been a leader in Africa's creation of regional organizations. Their growing vitality is encouraging, and we hope that activities of this kind will serve increasingly as the focus for economic cooperation between African countries. We believe such a development will both promote and increase the effectiveness of foreign assistance.