A parliamentary information report on the relations between France and Africa was presented to the National Assembly. The two rapporteurs, Bruno Fuchs from the Modem party and his colleague Michèle Tabarot from the LR party did not hold back in their assessment of the strategy implemented over the past two decades. They also expressed concerns about Emmanuel Macron’s approach and put forward a series of recommendations to improve this relationship.
This parliamentary report spans 175 pages and is the result of numerous hearings, including former President François Hollande and Mohamed Bazoum, the former President of Niger, who was overthrown in a military coup in July 2023. France’s policy on coup d’états is one of the aspects criticized by Bruno Fuchs and Michèle Tabarot. They argue that France must end the double standard of condemning certain coups, such as in Mali or Burkina Faso while validating others, as seen in Chad.
The parliamentarians also call for an end to “vexatious clumsiness,” whether in words, like Emmanuel Macron’s comments towards Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi in March 2023, or in actions, such as the Africa-France summit in Montpellier where African heads of state were not invited. They also criticize a visa policy deemed “humiliating” by African elites.
Bruno Fuchs and Michèle Tabarot call for greater coherence and respect. They propose creating a specific visa for French-speaking African countries, rebuilding a more robust and inclusive diplomatic corps for French citizens of African descent, transforming the French Development Agency into France Partnership, and repositioning France’s African policy at the center of parliamentary debate.
Among their other recommendations are teaching “contemporary Africa” in French schools, enhancing African studies at prestigious French institutions, or even establishing an Institute for Advanced African Studies. These changes would be complemented by a restructuring of French Institutes, fostering closer collaboration with host countries while strengthening the network.
They also recommend increasing resources for embassies so they can provide financial support for projects in the field. Lastly, the two parliamentarians lament a lack of positive communication about France’s actions in Africa, despite the increased resources allocated (€15.5 billion in loans or grants between 2020 and 2022). Their goal is to highlight the efforts made while shifting the focus away from “political and military communication.”