France-Africa summit on finance sparks reaction on African leaders’ link with former colonial powers – fr

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France-Africa summit on finance sparks reaction on African leaders’ link with former colonial powers – fr


French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting a summit on Tuesday to find ways to support struggling African economies amid the global economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than a dozen African countries send their heads of state to the event, including Nigeria, Congo and Ethiopia.

African Union and European Union officials are also planning to attend, and other world leaders are expected to join virtually, Macron’s office said.

The meeting was touted by some observers as an attempt to create a “new deal” for African economies.

However, some wonder about the role that France, a former colonizer of the continent, should play.

France maintains deep investments in many West and Central African economies more than 60 years after independence.

Senegalese economist Khadim Bamba Diagne is a lecturer and consultant in financial markets.

He asserts that France seeks to retain control over African economies and that granting loans plays an important role in maintaining this role.

Diagne believes African nations would be better served by turning to international agencies for funds rather than agreeing to loan terms that have historically been used by France.

The terms favor French companies, he says, undermining the development of the country’s private sector.

Some French companies have found their properties attacked amid social unrest in its former colonies over the past year.

In Senegal earlier this year, protesters torched dozens of Auchan supermarkets amid anger over the government’s handling of the economic fallout from the pandemic.

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