Emmanuel Macron is preparing to receive the Senegalese and Ivorian presidents. Migration, poverty, demography … The problems of the African continent are many: but France is very far from being able to contribute to their resolution.
Friday, April 20, 2018, the last two pillars of the former “françafrique”, namely the presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, will be received by Emmanuel Macron. The situation of the African continent is so worrying that it is difficult to see what the French President can promise them apart from hollow rhetoric and wishful thinking.
Especially since, contrary to received ideas, Africa does not count for the French economy. While the totality of its world exports is a little less than 500 billion euros, France sells to only South Africa Saharan for just 14 billion euros of goods and goods, less than 3% of all its exports. The CFA zone alone accounts for 46% of these almost 14 billion, or just over 1% of all French exports. In terms of imports, the numbers are similar. As for the CFA zone itself, it is not this “commercial hunt kept” allowing French productions to benefit from a kind of reserved market as some say since, for a decade, the share of France in the market in this zone is only about 11%,
Militarily, it is on France that rests the “police” of the Sahel. Paris is not in a position to tackle the causes of the war that is going on there. The latter are indeed part of the geography and history of this vast region in which the “white” or at least “clear skin” ultra-minority populations live in the north, while black populations live in the south. Traditionally, northern pastoralists raided farmers living along the river.
Colonization gathered nomads and sedentary within the administrative boundaries of the AOF (French West Africa). During decolonization, the boundaries within this vast ensemble became state boundaries. Within these boundaries, electoral ethno-mathematics automatically gave the victory, so the power to the most numerous, that is to say the southerners. In Mali and Niger, the Tuaregs who refused to be subjected to their former victims rose up many times. It was on this fertile ground that the traffickers of all kinds developed, then, today the Islamists, jihadism being first here the superinfection of an ethnic wound.
Militarily, it is on France that rests the “police” of the Sahel. Paris is not in a position to tackle the causes of the war that is going on there.
Aware that the question is insoluble, the French president is currently seeking a way out.
More generally, French leaders are well aware that neither France nor even the European Union can really help Africa. How could they when, from north to south and from east to west, the African continent is ravaged by wars or crises. From the Mediterranean to the Saharan prolongations, the Libyan dislocation maintains a major focus of destabilization. In the southern cone, what was powerful South Africa slowly sinks into social chaos. From the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, the entire Sahelian band is inflamed by a fundamentalist and mafia movement anchored in Mali, northern Nigeria and Somalia; further south, the Central African Republic has exploded while the huge DRC continues to die.
Economically, and with the exception of enclaves devoted to the export of mineral resources entrusted to transnational corporations unrelated to the local economy, Africa is today largely outside of trade, hence of the world economy. . Despite oil and minerals, its share in world trade (imports plus exports) is indeed derisory. From 6% in 1980, it collapsed to 2% in the 1990s, before “rising” to just over 3% today.
In Africa, food crises are permanent, health infrastructures have disappeared, as the Ebola tragedy in West Africa or the plague outbreak in Madagascar has shown, insecurity is widespread and poverty has reached levels of staggering.
Today, more than half of the continent’s population, about 600 million people, live on less than $ 1.25 a day. If we add to this figure the 250 million Africans with incomes between $ 2 and $ 4, which is just at the extreme limit of extreme poverty, that makes a total of about 670 million Africans out of a population 1.1 billion people living in poverty.
Development requires management training and innovation, with an average of less than 200,000 patents filed worldwide, about 0.2% by Africans, 80% by South Africans, 90% by white South Africans, the remaining 10% by South Africans of Indian origin. The tragedy is that Africa does not register patents, but that it exports its brains, which is clearly a form of assassination for a continent that has only 83 engineers per million inhabitants when Europe has 1,000.
Only 0.2% of patents filed worldwide are by Africans, 80% of whom are South Africans, 90% of whom are white South Africans.
Graduates leave Africa where they are indispensable, to go to work in the industrialized developed world where they are in surplus. Now, this new form of black slave trade that deals with the most precious Africans, its graduates, is done with the usual complicity of the “gentiles” of the anti-segregation and the sharks of capitalism associated for the circumstance. In the name of the paradigm of guilt that haunts them, the former forbid to see that by welcoming them, they bleed Africa. The latter encourages them to come in the name of the laws of the market, the global work and the mobility of the labor force. As a result, tens of thousands of boat people are at the mercy of gangs who launch them into lethal crossings to the European “promised land”.
President Macron is aware of this problem, but he has no way, if not homeopathic, to persuade Africans to settle it. Unless we establish a partnership with the countries of North Africa that will be the first to be affected because, it is first on them that will flow the future masses of sub-Saharan migrants.
How would it be otherwise when African population growth is above 3%? It is the result of a very high fertility (4.5 children per woman in Sudan and 7.1 in Niger), which means that in 2040, the fragile Sahel region, with more than limited resources, will have to live more 150 million inhabitants.
Here again, France is helpless because it has no way of forcing Africans to adopt drastic but imperative birth control policies.