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Macron’s unsuccessful visit to Africa

Macron’s unsuccessful visit to Africa: French President Emmanuel Macron’s African tour, which he undertook with a new approach, did not deliver the promised “renewal” in relations with the continent.

Macron’s unsuccessful visit to Africa

French President Emmanuel Macron’s African tour, which he undertook with a new approach, did not deliver the promised “renewal” in relations with the continent.

The tour, which included four countries, Gabon, Angola, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), once again highlighted the dynamics that regulate the continent’s relations with France.

While the French president, during the first stage of his tour, in Gabon, declared that the period of “Françafrique is now over”, experts believe that this statement does not reflect the truth.

Both condescending and very paternalistic in description, form and content

Activist Cheikh Fall, who had criticized Macron during the session held with young people from the continent on the occasion of the 28th “Africa-France Summit” held in Montpellier, in 2021, said that France still looks at Africa with a contemptuous eye.

Above all, he stressed that the change in France’s Africa policy was declared unilaterally.

“It would have made sense if Macron had declared that the era of Françafrique is over,” not at the beginning of his tour, but at the end, after meetings with African leaders, he felt.” His statements are both condescending and very paternalistic, in description, form and content. This is not an issue that depends only on France.”

Fall, who is also the founder of the civic movement “AfricTivists,” stressed that Macron was compelled to make the tour because of growing calls for the continent’s full independence.

Only French-speaking Africans can end “Françafrique”

Egountchi Behanzin, founder and president of the Black African Defence Association (LDNA), said that only Africans can put an end to the “era of Françafrique”.

“If France has changed its African policy as it claims, why are West African countries still using the CFA franc? Why does Macron strongly oppose the rapprochement of Russia and African countries? Only French-speaking Africans can put an end to Françafrique,” he argued.

Recalling that France knows that its future is in Africa, but that it will never regain its former status on the continent because of the strengthening of pan-African movements, Behanzin said Africans are now ready to “expel” France.

Anti-French opposition is very strong on the continent

Abdennour Toumi, a researcher at the Center for Middle East Studies (ORSAM) and an expert in international relations, noted that no matter what Macron says, France still considers Africa its “backyard.”

Toumi described Macron’s visit to Africa as a “complete fiasco” and made the following assessments:

“Paris should review its African policy, because now on the continent, the anti-French opposition is very strong. The African youth has today the possibility to choose other partners, not only dependent on France. France is very uncomfortable with the presence of Russia, China, and even Turkey on the continent. It seems that Paris is in a state of panic about its increasingly degraded image on the continent. This is why this tour of Macron has been extremely unsuccessful.”

This article was first published (in frensh) on “La Nouvelle Aube