France is planning to hold a summit for selected African heads of state to spur economic growth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. French President Emmanuel Macron is determined to invite all those African nations that are part of la Francophonie.
The consortium of the French speaking nations known as the la Francophonie have been together since 1970s and are looked after by France, for promoting usage of the French language and culture.
President Macron has sent invitations to the most significant African economies that are part of this consortium. But experts differ on the guest list and conference expectations citing reality on the ground.
There are other things on the table for discussion as well, but the criterion by which Macron has selected the participants has not been made public. One more major issue on agenda of discussion is the French currency use in these African countries.
Though there maybe countries that are part of the consortium, but have been in conflict with France. Such nations will not form a part of the discussions. According to political analysts, Macron, like his predecessors, Francois Holland and Nicholas Sarkozy, has been trying to extend ties of friendship to countries that France did not colonize. These include Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and, South Africa. Observers view them as the most emerging countries on the continent.
The summit is also looking at the participation of multilateral organizations that are financing the Covid-19 vaccine. Africa is going through a huge dilemma over consumption of vaccine doses that are coming under the Covax programme. On the split side, there is a discussion that these French summits are of less consequence to the African nations participating. For example, there has never been discussion over the persistent issues of socio-economic growth or political instability.
Strangely, at the summit WHO is not participating, but The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is. It seems that this could bejust another political move to win increase control over the African continent by France, and nothing more.Presently, France doesn’t have sufficient financial power to assist African states. Yet it is going to attempt to help it get rid of its debts with China. Countries such as Zambia and Djibouti are in trouble. Kenya will be in trouble soon.