Africa: The Biggest Bloc

Four months ago, a significant new element entered African politics. Leaders of the moderate French-speaking nations, meeting in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott, formed the 14-member Organisation Commune Africaine et Malgache—the largest single bloc of nations in Africa. Built around the thriving Western-oriented economy of the Ivory Coast and Senegal's traditional cultural leadership of French Africa, the OCAM represents 36 million Africans spread over one-fifth of the continent. One of its purposes: to offset the radical foreign policies of such hotheads as Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, create a new moderate center of gravity for the continent's politics.

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