Macron’s faux pas

France’s newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, when asked in a press conference at the G20 summit in Hamburg why there was no Marshall plan for Africa, explained that Africa had “civilizational” problems. He added that part of the challenge facing the continent was the countries that still have seven to eight children per woman . . . Macron’s words had commentators asking whether the honeymoon was now over as a chink appeared in the Golden Boy’s armour, but perhaps the signs were there all along. While still campaigning for the presidency, Macron called France’s colonial history in Algeria crime against humanity. But this centrist politician quickly changed his mind when his rebuke of France’s brutal past was met with criticism at home. In a speech in the south-eastern city of  Toulon, Macron apologised for having hurt voters’ feelings, and dumbed down  his accusation to speak instead of the need for France to face its complex past.  But what about the feelings of the millions of Africans you casually slur, Monsieur Macron? . . .Macron’s statements make the blood boil not because they are novel but because they make no mention of the root causes of the challenges of which the president speaks. Gone is the lucid, welcome admission that France’s role in its former colonies was anything but laudable. He now says nothing of the fact that France’s future is indelibly tied to that of its former colonies, and that the relation between the two remains largely neocolonial: Francophone Africa still trades heavily with France, and French companies – particularly in the extractive industries – have a strong presence on the continent’ . click here.