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‘Full of contempt’: Activists, experts trash Macron’s Africa visit

French President Emmanuel Macron’s Africa visits have been unsuccessful, according to African experts and civil society.

Last week, Macron visited Gabon, Angola, the Congo Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to renew relations between France and Africa.

Macron in Gabon announced “the end of Francafrique,” stressing that Paris is a “neutral interlocutor whose role is not to interfere in domestic politics”.

“Francafrique” is an expression with negative connotations, referring to France’s influence in its former African colonies and its relations with them.

Activist Cheikh Fall told Anadolu that Macron continues looking down on Africa, and added: “If Macron made that ‘Francafrique is over’ statement at the end of the visit, after meeting the African leaders, it could have a meaning. In terms of style and content, the statement is full of contempt and is paternalist.”

Fall, the founder of the African civil movement AfricTivistes, said that African calls for total independence forced Macron to take up this visit.

Macron’s arrogance is pushing away francophone African countries

Intense anti-France sentiment

Abdennour Toumi, a researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM, Türkiye), suggested that Macron still sees Africa as France’s “backyard”.

Toumi considered Macron’s latest visit a “total failure” and added: “Paris must revise its Africa policy since the anti-France sentiment is very intense on the continent. Today, African youth are not depending on France anymore. They have other options.”

Toumi also said that western and central Africa, as well as the Sahel region, do not want French interference and expect to be respected.

“Paris is panicking in the face of its gradually deteriorated image in the continent,” the researcher continued. “This visit was organised with panic. That’s why it has been very unsuccessful.”

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