Putting Macron’s charm Africa outreach n perspective
By Akpo Ometan
For President Macron of France, the opportunity of the recent charm Africa outreach was one chance encounter that had to be taken up with both hands.
Before now, the French leader had been at the receiving end of furious criticism from many places. At home, he was confronted with the Generals Revolt over his pandering to liberalist sentiments and actions that they claimed was undermining the heritage of a great civilisation. There has also been the continuing challenge of managing the British departure from the European Union, protests on the streets of the country and even concerns in Africa as to what the economic, military and democratic intentions of the French were. For examples, the switch from the CFA to the Eco currency, the suspected involvement of French mercenaries in some of the insurgent activities in the continent and the French endorsement of the ascension of Mahamat Deby as successor to his father in defiance of the Chadian Constitution are some recent sore spots.
In successfully, hosting the summit, Macron has won himself some reprieve.
Overall, some cheering news from the summit include calls for massive financial and vaccination support for Africa, talk of a new deal for the continent.
There were also calls for doubling COVID-19 vaccination targets for Africa by the end of 2021 under the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme; urging International Monetary Fund member states to triple the special drawing rights monetary reserves for Africa to $100 billion, as well as liberalising the extant situation so as to allow African nations greater leverage to produce and distribute COVID-19 shots domestically though the continent does not have any original manufacturer at the moment.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, Senegal’s President Macky Sall and President of Congo Democratic Republic Felix Tshisekedi attended the event.
One of the first beneficiaries of the talks was Sudan as IMF members states agreed to clear billions of dollars Sudan owes the institution, with Macron announcing also that France was writing off Sudan’s $5 billion debt to France.
President Emmanuel Macron of France