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Monsieur Macron is no different from a long list of racist Western leaders

Emmanuel Macron might just have found himself in hot soup when he responded to a question on France’s role in sending financial aid to Africa by saying, “the challenge of Africa, it is totally different, much deeper, it is civilizational,” and also has to do with “when countries today still are having 7 to 8 children per woman.” These racist statements have led to wide condemnation on social media.

French President Emmanuel Macron has given the whole world a final clue on who he really is, a man not given to thinking through things thoroughly, with strong prejudicial views. A white supremacist that lives in the denial of the adverse effects of what colonialism has done to the African continent, and what France in particular is still doing to the continent, particularly its former colonies.

In a statement Macron made during a press conference at the G20 summit in Hamburg, on July 8 when a reporter from the Ivory Coast asked the French president about France’s role in sending financial aid to Africa, Macron’s reply included this remark, “the challenge of Africa, it is totally different, much deeper, it is civilizational. What are the problems in Africa? Failed states, complex democratic transitions, demographic transitions, when countries today still are having 7 to 8 children per woman, you can decide to spend millions of Euros on the country, and you would stabilize nothing.”

Read: France triggers anger among Senegalese opposition politicians

According to Siddartha Mitter of Quartz, Macron ‘isn’t that deep’ when it comes to thinking about Africa. Macron ignores the fact that 14 francophone countries in Africa pay €440 billion each year to France. These 14 countries pay 85% of their foreign exchange reserves into Banque de France in Paris. According to a LinkedIn report, “African leaders who refuse are threatened with assassination or overthrow of their government. Over the past 50 years, there have been 67 coups d’état in 26 African countries. 16 of these 26 countries were former colonies of France.” In 2008, former French President Jacques Chirac stated: “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third world country”.

Most of the instability in Africa is as a result of the interference in the government from the West. The role of France in the Rwandan genocide is one that is still not answered fully. But a deeper look at Macron’s statement of Africa’s problems being civilizational makes one question which experiences and type of books on Africa does Macron draw his views from.

The policy of France towards the African countries it colonised was one of possession and an extension of France in Africa. It is therefore not surprising that a set of people that had no interest in knowing how many of these African countries were organized therefore believe that civilization is one of the problems of Africa.

Read: Did France’s intervention work in Mali?

But Macron’s statement should serve as a wakeup call especially to African presidents in Francophone countries who serve as stooges to the French government. At a point when the continent should be able to come as one and break away from the chain of neo-colonialism, many of these francophone countries play to the gallery.

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