The supposed centrist and progressive French President Emmanuel Macron, he newly elected President who we’re to be a fresh air. Aren’t apparently so, not if he believes what he said this week during the G-20 Summit in Hamburg. It is a disgrace of a modern European President to reflect this sort of sentiment. Especially, since this wasn’t said by some rascals associated with Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders, but actually out of Macrons own mouth. It is time to erase the saint-hood and the prestigious placing among the hopeful leaders. Because when he says these words, it hurts, and it proves that the French still feels superior towards the African Nations and their people. Macron clearly feels so when explaining himself and addressing development on the continent. The words in italic are proving his sentiments. Just take a look at a badly translated Press Conference on the 8th July 2017!
“I do not share that kind of reasoning. There were several envelopes that were given. Either we change the target with the addition of billions. We have been deciding to help Africa for decades and we did. If it were that simple, you would have noticed it. The Marshall Plan is a plan for material reconstruction, in countries that had their equilibrium and stability. The challenge of Africa, it is totally different, much deeper and civilization today. What are the problems in Africa? “He asked” (…) “It is through rigorous governance, fighting corruption, a struggle for good governance, successful demographic transition. In countries that still have 7 childbirths per woman, you can spend billions of euros, you do not stabilize anything. The plan of this transformation that we must conduct together must take into account the African specificities by and with African Heads of State. It is a plan that must take into account our own commitments on all the projects I have just mentioned, better associate public and private; And it must sometimes be more regional and even national. That is the method that has been adopted and that is what we do wherever we are engaged. I will have the opportunity next week to come back in much more detail” (Macron, 08.07.2017).
It seems like he knows and understands the African experience, that he can precisely blame the mothers of Africa for the bad demographics. That he can say the failed planned parenthood is the problem. Because, the French has no interfering in the African affairs with their armies, with their control through their Central Bank and Central African Franc (CFA), and also their ideals of a Francafrique. Dr. Lansine Kaba said these words a few years ago and they still ring in my ear!
“Francafrique involves a complex web of relations that have made France a major player in the affairs of many African countries and even of the African Union. Through the networks of this largely “opaque conglomerate”, France, a founding member of the UN Security Council and the World Bank, can boast a significant global influence that extends far beyond the French-speaking states. The term Francafrique suggests several facts and ideas, ranging from the politics of cordial exchange and cooperation to that of covert actions and violent military intervention that the French have been known for perpetrating in different parts of Africa since the 1960s” (…) “It involves an effective style of diplomacy that is not necessarily staffed with well-seasoned accredited diplomats, but energetic and daring doers. Francafrique builds relations that rely on close personal connections woven between the French leadership (the president and his close aides) and individual African leaders who depended on French assistance and security forces. Francafrique excelled in channelling funds to electoral campaigns of some prominent French politicians too” (Al Jazeera, 2013).
Than you have the WikiLeaks cable leaked from 2009, that even speaks volume of the way Macron views Africa as well: “Gompertz admitted that France’s Africa policy does have problems, most notably, that France continues to focus most of its efforts on its former colonies, even though they are not necessarily the most strategically important. Gompertz hopes to push for a stronger engagement with Anglophone and Lusaphone Africa. (Note: GOF officials frequently cite Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa as three of France’s key emerging partners in Africa. Gompertz was departing the same afternoon for Morocco and South Africa. End note.) Similarly, too much of France’s political and cooperation resources in Africa are designed to reinforce its partnerships within the international “Francophonie” organization. Gompertz cited the example of Burundi, where English is replacing French as the most popular foreign language, but he said this is understandable given Burundi’s important trade links in the East African Community. At the same time, he related that while he was Ambassador to Ethiopia, there was a strong demand for French language teachers, but France was not responsive in helping meet this need” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
So when Macron claims the missing envelopes and development, for various reasons, that he can understand. Even his own former Ambassador to Ethiopia Stephane Gompertz saying the projects was more for political gain and French own interest in Africa. Therefore, that the French President says what he says about the envelopes are bit disgusting. Knowingly the only intent the French has in Africa, isn’t directly developing the continent, but to extend their power there. Than he later claims the demographic and planned parenthood issues is behind it all. When the French interference and misuse of funds to keep their friendly leaders at bay. Clearly, are the program the French run under their Francafrique project.
So, when a French President should know what the French has known. That the French can spend billions and envelopes a not see development. When the interests are more of Paris, than of Dakar or Bamako, even the shores of Tunis. Usually if the Fancafrique are more for the gain of its own than the ones in need. More for the Paris elite or the friendly leaders instead of development. Therefore, it is an own created monster of French influenced based on patronage and clientele served from Paris. Macron must know this as the Ivorian and other leaders have nice houses on the boulevards of Paris. These are made of the patronage created by the French.
It is therefore, disgusting, that he blames the African woman and their parenthood for the lacking development. When lots of French own influence on the continent is for personal gain and for patronage. Not for development itself. To overlook this, is to forget the French acts and also superior belief in themselves. That is why Macron said what he said. The belief and understanding of grand strength. That they are one of the greatest civilizations on planet earth.
President Macron words: “In countries that still have 7 childbirths per woman, you can spend billions of euros, you do not stabilize anything”. Macron need some sense and need to step-up from his Le Pen ways. He need to fix his mind and should rethink French strategy on African soil, before talking about stabilization. Parts of the problems still on the continent is the problems left behind from the French. That they have never left wealth, but left behind petty dictators who spends fortune on Champs Elysee! Peace.
Al Jazeera – ‘Q&A: France’s connections in Africa’ (15.08.2013) link: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2013/08/201381584025929212.html
WikiLeaks – ‘”FRANCAFRIQUE” — MFA DISPUTES REPORTS ON A RETURN TO BUSINESS AS USUAL’ (19.11.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09PARIS1534_a.html
Unchecked, corruption can choke off development, rob people of faith in their governments and sow the seeds of instability and conflict. But against this challenge, the Commonwealth has a tremendous opportunity to lead.
Corruption afflicts the Commonwealth in many ways. The Commonwealth includes both countries where vast amounts of wealth are stolen from the people and major financial centres that can be used to launder corrupt wealth. It is a community of nations with a set of shared values, shared sense of rule of law and a shared history of institutions. Because of all we share, the Commonwealth is a vital international forum to tackle this agenda.
Today, at the start of CHOGM 2015, we set out an aspiration for the Commonwealth to lead the world in tackling corruption and the laundering of the corrupt wealth around the Commonwealth.
Ahead of the proposed Anti-Corruption Summit in 2016, hosted in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth can build a consensus on tangible steps to address corruption and on a leadership role that the Commonwealth can take.
These steps need thorough debate, but they should include:
1. Considering a formal Commonwealth scheme for cooperation and mutual legal assistance to fight corruption
2. Expanding the Commonwealth Secretariat’s existing technical support to anti-corruption agencies and bringing professionals and practitioners together to help countries exchange ideas and find solutions tailored to their needs
3. Learning from the insights of the Commonwealth Associations of Anti-Corruption Agencies and the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre
4. Strengthening Commonwealth financial centres to lead the world in standards of transparency, integrity and effective anti-money laundering systems
5. Ensuring that all Commonwealth States meet the standards of beneficial ownership transparency that the G20 has agreed
6. Building better frameworks for sharing information on corruption and money laundering risks, so that strengthening one financial centre does not displace the problem to another jurisdiction
7. Raising standards of access to information rights for the public and whistleblower protections, across the Commonwealth
8. Reviewing the legitimacy of immunity for officials that guarantee against criminal proceedings across the Commonwealth and whether it can be reformed to end unnecessary high levels of protection that block justice for the corrupt
This week at the People’s Forum, the Business Forum, the Youth Forum and the Women’s Forum, as well as the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, we have called for the entire Commonwealth community to support this aspiration. If the Commonwealth can build a joint compact across all of its communities, we can break the strangle hold that corruption has on so many parts of the world.
A Statement written and Co-Oped by:
Transparency International and Hon Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta