Macron seeks to rethink Africa relations, faces tensions

Published July 7, 2020, 1:11 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Associated Press

French President Emmanuel Macron is heading to Africa to try to revive French influence and move beyond post-colonial tensions, despite skepticism and threats of demonstrations.

Unions in Burkina Faso have called for protests for Macron’s trip, which starts Monday night.

Independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron (AP Photo/Christophe Ena/Manila Bulletin)
French President Emmanuel Macron (Credits: AP Photo/Christophe Ena/Manila Bulletin file photo)

The Burkina government has ordered schools closed to ease traffic because of heavy security needed for Macron’s visit, though many view the closures as an effort to reduce the threat of student unrest.

In his first big speech about Africa policy, the 39-year-old leader is expected to focus on more pragmatic relations, such as supporting startup entrepreneurs instead of giving aid.

Macron also is visiting Ivory Coast for a Europe-Africa summit, and Ghana.

The trip comes amid protests around Africa and Europe at new revelations about African migrants being sold as slaves in Libya.