Africa

A glance into Macron Emmanuel’s Africa glamour “insulting“

A glance into Macron Emmanuel’s Africa glamour “insulting“

The president of France Emmanuel Macron concluded a whirlwind tour of the African capitals as he tried to shift French policy on the continent away from the military involvement.

This was his 18th presidential trip but it came a time of ever increasing competition from China and Russia and the growing resentment of the close economic ties between France and it’s former colonies which some perceive as a form of the continued taking advantage as he is hardly accused of ignoring Africa.

During his tour he insisted that he will come back again and again to the continent that he regards as a crucial partner for Europe in taking major global issues over the decades ahead.

This comes amidst the Ukraine inevitably dominating the international diplomatic agenda as Macron believes that Paris and Brussels can’t afford to neglect Africa though it presents challenges and huge development opportunities with the youthful dynamism that he argues will be a huge contributor to Europe‘s own future growth.

With Russia hoping to rebuild the influence it had lost since the Cold War decades, its offering security support to governments that feel under threat from the international mainstream: mercenaries from the kremlin linked military contractor Wagner are now operating in Mali and the Central Africa Republic where they have been accused of human rights abuses.

China on the other hand is a massive funder and builder of infrastructure, albeit on terms that Mr Macron fears could trap some countries in debt crisis.

During his last week lengthy speech, mr Macron reasserted his own strategy to sustain a role for France in this increasingly competitive arena and it was a message addressed to both a Africans and to his own domestic audience.

He doesn’t think the French should try to match Russian security effort by re-expanding it’s own military presence to match what Moscow offers and it that case that would hardly be an option when Paris has been forced to pull its troops out of Mali and Bukina Faso where the military juntas now in charge are seeking to distance themselves from the former colonial power in both countries.

Mr Macron took a step further announcing the remaining French bases in Africa to be co managed and shared with the forces of the host nations and even available to welcome other external partners if those governments wished.

With the growing controversy surrounding the operations of the French force Barkhane ,finally withdrawn from Mali in August last year this fueled an upsurge in populist nationalism in some countries and more generalized resentment of France across most of Francophone west and central Africa particularly among the urban Youth.

There have been anti French demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of his visit .

In addition opponents of Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba and Dr Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi have been complaining that Mr Macron’s visit could be read as interference to booster the image of these incumbent rulers in what is an election year for both countries.

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