Three capitals in a few hours for a “new relationship” with Africa: Emmanuel Macron on Friday put the turbo on his African tour to show the new face of French diplomacy on the continent.
The French president arrived in Angola on Thursday evening from Gabon to attend a summit on protecting tropical forests.
On Friday, he will meet with his Angolan partner Joao Lorenzo in Luanda and then Congolese Denis Sasso Nusso in Brazzaville before joining Kinshasa, the last stop of his tour, in the evening.
Always with the same red thread: decisively change the side of “Françafrique” and establish a new “software” based on its opaque practices and its networks of influence derived from colonialism and “content” and pragmatic partnerships from the environment. Health protection.
“This age of Françafrique is over,” he said Thursday from Libreville, which has long contained these excesses under the leadership of Omar Bongo.
“In Gabon, as elsewhere, France is a neutral interlocutor,” he insisted, while accusing the Gabonese opposition of supporting President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Omar Bongo’s son and successor, throughout the election year.
In the former Portuguese colony of Angola, which his predecessor Francois Hollande visited in 2015, the task will undoubtedly be easier.
Emmanuel Macron, eager to diversify France’s ties with the continent, has increased his visits to non-French-speaking countries since his first term (2017-2022).
– “Expertise” –
In Luanda, a cooperation agreement should be struck to strengthen the country’s agricultural sector and diversify its economy centered around oil production.
Angola imports most of its food products, wants to strengthen its “sovereignty” in this matter and wants to “find new sources of income in the agricultural sector”, underlines the French president.
France can provide “know-how” for a sector from production to processing and marketing, he adds.
The French President will be joined by representatives of major grain groups, experts in infrastructure development such as Meridim and Total, which is present in Angola in the production of hydrocarbons, but also in hydroelectricity.
The Angolan president, who will be re-elected in 2022, is part of the continuation of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has been in power since independence in 1975.
Emmanuel Macron will stop for a few hours in Brazzaville, where Denis Sassou Nguesso has ruled with an iron fist for nearly 40 years, a meeting that risks appearing against the grain of his new software.
Ahead of his visit, Congolese human rights organizations expressed their concerns and asked the French president to relay.
– “Waiting for Peace” –
They specifically pleaded for the release of General Jean-Marie Michel Mokogo and André Okombi Saliza.
A former army chief and former minister respectively, the two figures were sentenced to 20 years in prison after unsuccessfully contesting the 2016 presidential election.
Emmanuel Macron will join the former Belgian colony of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the other side of the Congo River for a visit focused on cooperation in health and cultural matters.
He will visit the National Institute of Biomedical Research on Saturday to meet Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the man responsible for the discovery of the Ebola virus. He will also meet artists and entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative world.
The move could be tricky as France has been accused in the DRC of favoring Rwanda over Kinshasa, which faces an insurgency in the east of the country.
A few dozen young people, waving Russian flags, protested against his arrival in Kinshasa on Wednesday. On Thursday, a dozen of them burned the French flag in front of the French company in Coma in the east of the country, an AFP reporter noted.
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