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France-Africa Summit: African leaders gather in France to seek financial support

Scores of African leaders have landed in Paris ahead of the France-Africa summit which will be hosted by French President, Emmanuel Macron. The said summit will be attended by top lenders and European leaders such as the G7, G20, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other financial institutions.

Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister for economy earlier claimed that the summit which will be held on the 18th of May, 2021 is meant to help these countries redeem their economies from post-pandemic economic challenges.

However, political thinkers are raising concerns over the true motive behind the summit as well as the unrepentant attitude of the African Leadership to do away with colonial mindset and over dependence on aid.

According to some of the critics, claims by France that the pandemic is the priority for the summit is questionable due to the fact that, the World Health Organization (WHO) which is the body fronting issues surrounding the pandemic was left out of the invited guest list.

Speaking to reporters, a French lawmaker, Sebastien Nadot said, “on the question of COVID-19, I am not sure there will be any significant discussions on that in Paris. I understand the World Health Organisation (WHO) will not be present. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be there but not WHO. It is obvious COVID is not the priority.”

Other critics consider the summit as a complete waste of Africa’s taxpayer’s money and one which is beneficial to France and not Africa. “It is just another useless gathering, a waste of time and resources which is more beneficial to France than Africa,” Cameroonian analyst Bergeline Ndoumou said.

He added that, “they have been holding countless summits, but how have those summits benefited Africa?… How have they impacted governance in our various African countries? We still have bad leaders…It(the summit) is just a ploy for Macron to solidify his grip on the African continent.”

A growing worry among Africans is that their leaders are not listening to the earnest call for self-reliance. African youth especially, have been demanding for home-grown solutions to the continent’s problems in line with the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s strong position that “the black man is capable of managing his own affairs.” However, the political will is not making this a reality. What do you think is the way forward for Africa?

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