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The French policy in sub-Saharan Africa since 1960

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documents in English
10 pages
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  1. Introduction
  2. Military assistance
    1. Military assistance agreements
    2. The political grip entailed
    3. The scandal of the Rwandan genocide
    4. The Ivorian failure: A turning point?
  3. Economic and financial cooperation
    1. Cooperation agreements and aid
    2. The 'zone Franc'
    3. The shift towards the European Union
  4. Cultural cooperation
    1. Francophonie
    2. Scientific cooperation
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

The French policy in Africa is frequently deemed neo-colonialist. France would enduringly attempt to keep its former colonies within its sphere of influence for economic and political reasons. Cases in point are the lyrics of the song ?Françafrique? by the Ivorian descent artist Tiken Jah Fakoly: ?Ils nous vendent des armes / Pendant que nous nous battons / Ils pillent nos richesses / Et se disent être surpris de voir l'Afrique toujours en guerre ? (They sell us weapons / While we are at war / They loot our wealth / And pretend to be surprised to see Africa always at war). The expression ?Françafrique? was used by Felix Houphouet-Boigny for the first time in 1955. It was meant to qualify the good French African relationship. Then, the set phrase became more negative: François-Xavier Verschave mentioned the ?Françafrique? as a scandal in 1999 . This latter policy means that French leaders aim at leading the former French African Empire through indirect means, generating military, economic and political dependencies. Paradoxically enough, the French cooperation policy has undoubtedly been one of the main engines of Africa's development. What has been the role of France in its former sub-Saharan African colonies since 1960? Can we draw a line between economic, cultural and military backing and imperialism?
The different types of cooperation appeared to me as an effective method of analysis. That is why in a first part, we will focus on military cooperation. In a second part, we will consider economic cooperation policies. In the last part, we will get a look at cultural cooperation.

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