National Geographic : 1962 Nov
Freedom's Progress South of the Sahara tions, the Congolese Government, and the Ford Foundation. "The purpose of the school," James T. Har ris, its American secretary general, told me, "is to train a cadre of people capable of run ning the responsible levels of government." Under an international faculty of special ists, 303 students-few with even a high school education-pursue a backbreaking academic schedule designed to convert them into skilled administrators within four years. "They've already achieved a minor mira cle," Mr. Harris told me. "These students are doing work on a par with any good univer sity. They cooperate to the hilt. You see, there's a terrific thirst for education among the Congolese. Now that they've been thrust into Future the world, they realize very keenly tutelage how much they don't know. every t "Our first class graduates in than a 1964, and the government will absorb it immediately. Our chief aim is to teach these students the difference between a good and a bad civil servant, a good and a bad administration." Katanga's Wealth Lies in Mines Pending the completion of a $3,500,000 campus, the school oc cupies converted offices in Leo poldville's vast Palais de Justice. The students live in unlighted houses more than a mile away. "How can they study at night without electricity?" I asked. "After dark, drive out along the Avenue Josephine Charlotte and you'll see." That night I did drive out, and I did see. The earnest young Af ricans sat on the curb in tight groups, poring over their books by the wan light of the street lamps. But essential as it was, the new republic's need for trained man power remained secondary to its need for peace with Katanga. Wealthiest of the Congo's prov inces, Katanga supplies 7 percent of the Free World's annual pro duction of copper and more than 60 percent of its cobalt. Ore from Katanga mines furnished urani um for the atomic bombs that helped end World War II. In the first con fused days of Congolese independence, Ka tanga's President Moise Tshombe declared the province independent. Through two years and two battles, he had kept it that way. Al though unrecognized by a single nation, Ka tanga levied taxes, supported an army, even printed its own currency and postage stamps. Elisabethville, Katanga's capital, once a pleasant city of broad streets and comfortably dowdy buildings, was sulking under a semi siege when my airplane touched down. On one side, 7,000 troops of the United Nations controlled the airport and all roads into the mechanics at Ndjili tear down a tractor under the of a Belgian, who trains 35 Congolese repairmen iree months. Since people of the Congo speak more hundred dialects, he gives instruction in French.