Who is France losing Africa to?
By John Eche
Recent events in Mali and Chad point to the fact that some of what was taken for granted as the stranglehold of France over large swathes of the continent of Africa may need to be reviewed.
Unlike what had been the case in the past when Paris held an almost absolute controlled the political and economic affairs of many of the nations of Africa, today, that hold continues to weaken.
The first resistance may have come from the likes of Algeria and Guinea. But more recently, Pais has been caught up in hitherto unfathomable situations as in Burkina Faso where President Macron faced some challenge in pushing down the French doctrine.
One of the bigger systemic points of challenge has to do with the economic relations between France and its African sphere. Originally, this was a classic colonial arrangement where the resources of the continent were lodged in Paris and managed benevolently by French officials on behalf of the people of the continent. This has however met a stumbling bloc in the process of converting from CFA to Eco.
Also most notable is the governance situation. Acting on pacts that were rammed down the throats of African nations, France has directly intervened over the years to bolster or save dictators who doits bidding while also coming down hard on independents.
But the real big elephant in the shop today is security. The situation in Chad is seen to be quite troubling. Hitherto considered a quite safe French sphere of influence, the fact of a third party strangely waltzing its way into Chad and proceeding to take out a sitting President who is considered a long-standing French ally has raised issues of a different hue? What is going on?
As if that is not disconcerting enough, the evidence on ground indicates that a lot of West and Central Africa, where the French domino was most widespread is currently being faced with a sceptre in which Middle East-leaning third parties are presently calling the shots, suggests that something is indeed afoot that demands even more close-up study and analysis.
French President, Emmanuel Macron