In this post we feature a new article on François Hollande’s Africa policy by Prof Tony Chafer (Professor of Contemporary French Area Studies, University of Portsmouth). This article was published in the November 2014 issue of Modern and Contemporary France.
Studies of French Africa policy have traditionally focused on its neo-colonial basis and the often corrupt nature of the relations it engendered because of the connivances of semi-official and unofficial networks and covert practices that characterised it. These are often referred to in the literature as la Françafrique. In seeking to understand François Hollande’s Africa policy this article moves away from a neo-colonial, Françafrique analytical framework and instead seeks to engage with the continuity versus change debate in French Africa policy through the lens of geopolitics. The three central themes of Hollande’s Africa policy—security, partnership and trade—are analysed, focusing firstly on the French interventions in Africa, notably in Mali, since 2012, before discussing French engagement with African regional organisations, such as the Economic Community of West African States, and the increasing importance attached to economic and trade links. The article ends with a brief survey of some of the challenges facing French Africa policy.
A full version of this article is currently available to download for free from Modern and Contemporary France.