France and Africa: Towards the End of a Strategic Ambition? François Gouttebrune, Politique étrangère, 4/2002 (Winter 2002). Read the full text in French (pdf).
François Gouttebrune is the alias of a Top Public Servant and expert on Africa.
(This article is published in French only. Original title: 'La France et l'Afrique: le crépuscule d'une ambition stratégique?').
In 1960, French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa disappeared to leave room for a system of diplomatic, economic (the maintaining of a “franc” zone of co-operation), and privileged military relations that allowed France, in spite of decolonialisation to, consolidate its hold on Sub-Saharan Africa. As the years and several Franco-African summits went by, the interests of a growing number of states in this development and stability policy for the continent even extended France’s influence beyond what it was in colonial times. The upheaval of 1989 and, later, the Rwanda crisis would spoil bilateral relations, which France began to disengage from in the 1990s. Has September 11 replaced old economic interests with strategic value that would announce renewed French support in the region?