C-057-013

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THE PRESIDENT'S WIFE WANTS TO TAKE HOME OUR ROSES . . .
D Tel 3/4/69 In the gold-embroidered white African cress which she wore to lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace 40-years-old Mme Diori , photographed in her London hôtel ; looks a very young mother of six children aged seven to 23 . An ardent believer in the emancipation of women , she insists on accompanying her husband on his arduous tours into the arid interior of Niger to encourage the women's progress educationally and socially . "My most fervent wish is for my children to succeed in their studies " , she says . Picture by BECK. Madame Aissa Hamani Diori of the Higer Republic , is unique among the new independent African leaders wives. She is her country's leading gardener . Travelling in Europe - she speaks fluent French yet insists on conducting interpreter - gave her a yearning to grow in her own country , largely desert , some of the fruit and flowers she has come across. It was she who four years ago introduced strawberries in her 100 -acre experimental garden on the River Niger , outside Niamey, with success. " i grow strawberries of all sizes from December to April ", she told me " and this season we have been picking over 100 a day . Last year i tried frowing raspberries and the first season seems successful" . Mme.Diori also introduced roses to Niger - it's just north of Nigeria - and is hoping to have some time off during her state visite to see some Englush gardens and take back cuttings . Her example is leading many of Niger's wormen to start cultivating fruit trees and growing vegetables. Marketinggardening and the exporting of "out-of-deason" produce , she believers , is one way in which the women the could eventually play an active role in the country's economy . VIOLET JOHNSTONE
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