A significant number of people in Senegal have only recently become familiar with Pap Ndiaye, the new Education, Youth, and Sports Minister in France. The academic’s nomination on Friday, which was welcomed by several Dakar locals as a sign of the countries’ proximity, was given by his parents, who are French and Senegalese respectively. Others did not view the event as one worthy of celebration.
Pap Ndiaye was sworn in as the new Minister of Education for France on Friday. Even though the majority of Senegalese have only recently become aware of the nomination of the academic (who, according to reports from Senegalese news outlets, was born to a French mother and a Senegalese father), some people are pleased by it because it is a symbol of the proximity of the two countries. “It strengthens the bond between the African continent and the West in general,” says Aboubacry Ndaw, a resident of Dakar. “In particular, it strengthens the relationship between France and Senegal.”
Ndiaye occupied the position of director of the Museum of the History of Immigration. Even though he was a surprising choice for the new French Prime Minister‘s reshuffled government, some inhabitants of Dakar do not believe that his nomination is remarkable because there is a long-established Senegalese diaspora living in France.
Ibrahima Cissé believes that the appointment of Pap Ndiaye as a minister in France should not come as a surprise because of the historical ties that exist between Senegal and France. On top of that, all of France’s privileges in Africa, and particularly in Senegal, make this look like a minor issue. This appointment doesn’t strike me as something out of the norm.
Some people on the French left reacted with surprise when they heard about the nomination of the social change historian. The far right, many of whose politicians view the emerging anti-racism movement as a dangerous doctrine, launched an assault against Ndiaye.