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Africa and France need to update their co-operation model

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Séga Diarrah, president of the “Bi-Ton” Collective, which brings together some 60 associations to promote democracy and employment in Mali, recognises that the 27th Africa-France Summit, which was held in Bamako on 13-14 January 2017, was a success for Mali. The country was able to demonstrate that it could overcome its security problems, and the meeting provided an opportunity for the private sector in Mali to forge partnerships. Relations between France and Africa are nevertheless questionable. According to Diarrah, France continues to benefit from Africa, especially through its large companies that are active on the continent, without addressing Africans’ real concerns about co-operation. France remains focused on the macro-economic and security dimension of African countries, whereas the countries would rather strengthen the practical and symbolic links when it comes to immigration, training and cultural co-operation, for example. This divergence of opinion shows that the relationship between Africa and France should be overhauled so that Africans can take ownership of the objectives and of the pace of co-operation with its more privileged partner.

 

Read the interview (French)