France’s Macron aims to strengthen ties with Africa ‘without arrogance’: Ministry


French President Emmanuel Macron during his recent visit to Africa expressed his will to strengthen partnerships “without arrogance,” the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.


Responding to a question from Anadolu at a news conference, ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre commented on Macron’s visit to four African countries last week.


“You heard the president express his desire to build and strengthen partnerships without arrogance, but also without a complex,” she said.


Legendre added that Macron on Feb. 27 unveiled his new partnership model before starting his visits on March 1.


“This new approach…confirms and extends the discourse he revealed in Ouagadougou (capital of Burkina Faso) in 2017,” she stressed.


The spokeswoman said that France’s aim is to strengthen its partnership with the four African countries over common issues such as the protection of the forests, food sovereignty, health and security.


Last week, Macron visited Gabon, Angola, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo to renew relations between Paris and Africa and proclaim his intention to make French interference in the continent a thing of the past.


In Gabon, the first leg of his tour, he announced “the end of Francafrique,” vowing that Paris would be a “neutral interlocutor whose role is not to interfere in domestic politics.”


Experts interviewed by Anadolu considered this to be a paternalist and unilateral approach, estimating that the new strategy will be unsuccessful.


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


*Writing by Nur Asena Erturk in Ankara


Source: Anadolu Agency