Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why West Africans Don't Like the French.

A great article from the Times on the post-colonial relationship between France and countries in Africa. I would highly recommend reading the whole thing. Some excerpts are below.

In Africa, “opposition to power also means opposition to France,” said Mamadou Diouf, the director of Columbia University’s Institute of African Studies. “We find ourselves in a paradox: The champion of the rights of man practices a politics absolutely contrary to its principles,” Mr. Diouf said of France’s policies in Africa.

Mr. Joyandet (France's Secretary of State for Cooperation) said that “for us, the relationship with Francophone Africa is especially difficult. When we do too much they say we’re colonialist,” he continued. “And when we don’t do enough, we hear complaints.”

“People don’t like France because France isn’t helping Africans freely choose their leaders,” said Achille Mbembe, a political scientist and historian at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. “And the democratic process is blocked, practically everywhere.”

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