Tag Archives | United Nations

France in Mali: myths and realities

The French intervention in Mali in 2013 was portrayed by many commentators at the time as another manifestation of la Françafrique. Tony Chafer argues that framing the intervention in this way is both problematic and misleading. Tony Chafer is Professor of Contemporary French Area Studies and Director of the Centre for European and International Studies Research at the University of Portsmouth. His main research interests lie in French African policy in the colonial and post-colonial periods, French military and security policy in Africa and EU security policy in Africa. He is a Research Associate of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and acts as a consultant to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on French African policy.   Since the 1990s, la Françafrique has become shorthand for a neo-colonial relationship rooted in illicit and often criminal practices designed to maintain France’s ex-colonies in a relationship of dependency with the former metropole. Underpinning this relationship, it is argued, there exists a range of official links that have bound, and in many ways continue to bind, France to its former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa. These include defence and military assistance, economic aid, political, business and cultural links, and the maintenance of a common currency zone, alongside a […]

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India Africa Forum, New Delhi 26-30 October

The third summit of the India Africa Forum took place in New Delhi (26-30 October 2015) and involved all 54 African countries, with 41 heads of state or government present, representing a huge increase from the initial meeting of the Forum in New Delhi in 2008, attended by representatives of 14 African countries, chosen by the African Union. Seen by some as representing a major push by India to challenge the dominance of China in Africa, India is today announcing $10 billion of soft loans and $600 million of grants for projects in Africa. (See http://www.thestatesman.com/news/business/india-announces-10-bn-soft-loan–600-m-grant-to-africa/100086.html ). It is an ambitious undertaking aimed at increasing commercial trade between India and Africa, but also at building up support for international political cooperation, most notably reform of the UN to reflect the changing balance of power in the world. For further details and a debate on this attempt to rebalance the relationship with Africa, see also http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2015/10/india-challenge-china-dominance-africa-151028195608246.html . Posted by Margaret Majumdar

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