Hollande Heads to Africa as Relations Turn Traditional
President Francois Hollande came to office promising to overhaul France’s relations with Africa to shun strongmen leaders and focus more on partnerships and human rights. As he leaves for a three-country swing through West Africa, he’s back to playing a more traditional French role on the continent: pushing trade and overseeing military interventions. In the Ivory Coast tomorrow, Hollande is bringing a delegation of businessmen to a country where the economy is booming and French companies fear they’re losing out to foreign rivals. Over the following two days in Niger and Chad, he’ll discuss security issues and visit military bases used by French forces to combat Islamist militants across the Sahara. Within the past year, Hollande has visited Mali and Central African Republic where French forces are in action.