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Macron at the Elysee: A Year Later, What is the Outcome of His Policy for Africa?

On many occasions, the French President has presented the African continent as “a continent of the future”. And starting from the dynamism of this emerging Africa, the difficulties related to the governance, the demography, the pandemics, the inequalities although numerous, would be overcome. The place of the continent? “It is in Africa that will play a part of the tilt of the world,” he usually launched.

Throughout his mandate, Emmanuel Macron wants to rely on this African economic dynamism to create an ambitious partnership between France, Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa that strengthens mutual interests in all areas: climate, trade, employment, innovation, but also security and stability.

Then candidate for the French presidency, Macron explained to our colleagues Le Monde on April 12, 2017 that “alongside relations between states, this partnership will rely on the forces of Africa and France: intellectuals, NGOs, diasporas of France and Africa, enterprises.

In concrete terms, the same source pointed out, the French president relied on fundamentals such as: “boosting bilateral aid in Africa, mobilizing more public and private financing to finance African SMEs and infrastructure, and promoting the role of women” doubling the funding of projects related to gender equality “.

Emmanuel Macron’s vision of French politics for Africa seems focused on tightening state relations with African civil society.

The French president said before his election that sub-Saharan Africa would remain a theater of operations, but with a desire to associate more the African Union, the G5 Sahel and Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.

Emmanuel Macron seems to want to maintain a French military influence in Africa but more based on a strengthening of cooperation between countries.

After defeating Marine Le Pen in the second round, the election of Emmanuel Macron was enthusiastically welcomed on the continent. Because, to a certain extent, according to former Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou Benin, “it is someone very committed to development and innovation in general.”

The promises made are also innovative: a “new partnership” that he proposes to write with the continent. Even angry subjects like the CFA franc or demographics.

But also commitments: the lifting of the secret-defense in France on the documents relating to the assassination, thirty years ago, of the former president Thomas Sankara, become an African icon, obtaining easier visas for students in Africa, the creation of a € 1 billion fund for the development of SMEs, etc.

Faced with a youth often hostile to France, during his African tours, Emmanuel Macron tried to impose a new style and dust off a Franco-African relationship still marked by colonization.

Political governance in Africa remains a major concern for Africans and the diaspora. Governance marked by the proliferation of presidential mandates and questionable re-elections.

However, the French president wants to be clear: no more “Françafrique” or incestuous relations. Another message full of meaning and reciprocity: France now intends neither to give lessons to Africa nor to receive.

But, one wonders: should Macron be satisfied with expressing its “fairly clear” position on the issue of governance in Africa or go further by becoming more involved in the management of the political power of the leaders? of African States?

The question makes perfect sense as, while the time has come to limit the number of presidential terms to two, some presidents in office would not hesitate to tamper with the Constitution of their country to be able to drag on to power . The cases of Togo and DR Congo, which are topical, are a good illustration of this. And Emmanuel Macron is constantly questioned on the question.

They are legion, the sites on which the African opinion expects the tenant of the Elysee. In your opinion, what is the first assessment of the French president’s action on the African scene?

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