Five quotes from French leaders that shows how much they depend on Africa for Survival

Western powers, through media propaganda, have created a certain perception about Africa as a continent which heavily depends on them for survival; however, in reality, western countries equally depend on and even benefit more from their relationship with Africa.

From diplomatic business agreements to exploitative means, these powers take resources including Gold, Diamond, Bauxite, Manganese, Timber, raw materials and other items from Africa. In this piece, we bring to you five quotes as proof that, for example, France, which maintained a much-criticized relationship with its colonies, depends on Africa for survival.

The first quote we will look at is a comment from the former French President Jacques René Chirac. In the year 2008, the French leader acknowledged the fact that France wouldn’t have been where it was without Africa. “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power,” he said.

Prior to his comment, his predecessor, former Prime Minister François Mitterrand also said in 1957 that, “without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century.”

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Former French Minister Jacques Godfrain also revealed in 2011 that, “a little country [France], with a small amount of strength, we can move a planet because [of our] relations with 15 or 20 African countries.” 

Another of such comments is from former French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici. In a speech he delivered in December, 2013 the Minister said “we have to speak the language of truth: African growth pulls us along. Its dynamism supports us and its vitality is stimulating for us … We need Africa.”

The final quote is taken from a speech delivered by President François Hollande at the Elysée Summit. In this speech, said “France, along with Europe, would like to be even more involved in the destiny of your continent,” adding that, “tomorrow’s economy will heavily depend on the strength and vibrancy of African businesses … The goal I have set is to double the level of trade between France and Africa in five years.”

Beyond the media propaganda which is aided by the so-called foreign charity organizations and multinationals, some of which are consistently used as tools to promote negative narratives about Africa coupled with the debt trap, there is a reality. And that reality is that, western countries depend heavily on Africa and its resources.  

France, as has been of focus in this piece, took many resources from Africa during the colonial era and continued to exploit its former colonies through, “Françafrique,” the much-criticized historical relationship it maintained with former colonies, extracting all kinds of resources

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