• On Wed., while visiting Benin, French Pres. Emmanuel Macron pledged to support the West African nation by investing in security, education, and a new French cultural center.[1]
  • This is the second stop of a three-nation tour of West Africa, which started on Mon. and will end in Guinea-Bissau on Thurs., to "renew" relations between France and the region.[2]
  • Macron's first leg of the trip saw him visit Cameroon where he reinforced his commitment to the fight against Boko Haram and the spread of jihadist ideology, pledging to provide military support if requested.[3]
  • During his visit to Cameroon, Macron also announced that France's anti-jihadist "Operation Barkhane" will be expanded beyond the Sahel to the Gulf of Guinea and "second-layer countries" to combat jihadist violence.[4]
  • Macron's West Africa trip comes amid a series of coups, a deteriorating security situation and growing anti-French sentiment in France's former West African colonies in favor of Russia.[5]
  • His first African tour since his re-election in April coincides with visits by Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and US Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer to various countries on the continent.[6]


Pro-establishment narrative

As several African countries are turning to Russia, France must focus on using its leverage to push for a political solution to the Anglophone separatist insurgency. Only by upholding its values will France be able to maintain its influence in Francophone Africa.

Establishment-critical narrative

This trip is an expression of an equally obvious and desperate attempt to revive "Françafrique," not least amid geopolitical tensions with Russia. And when it comes to neocolonialism 2.0, human rights simply don't matter. For Africa, that means more suffering, more corruption, and more coups.

Establishment split



More neutral establishment stance articles

Sign up to our newsletter!