Sunday, July 14, 2024

French President Macron calls colonialism a ‘grave mistake’

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called “colonialism” a “grave mistake” as he appears to be showcasing a posture of regret during his recent visit to former french colony Ivory Coast.

Macron who was on an official visit to the West African nation also called for “turning the page” on the past.

He said at an event in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan, that France was often viewed as having a “hegemonistic view and the trappings of colonialism that was a grave mistake and a fault of the Republic.”

France still has control over it’s former colonies in Francophone Africa by managing their currency in Paris.

These Francophone countries have had their financial reserves always planned and controlled from France despite gaining independence many years ago.

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Changing harmful model

A model where these former colonies of France had their foreign-exchange accumulation kept at the French Treasury is now expected to change.

The CFA is used in 14 African countries with a combined population of about 150 million and $235 billion of gross domestic product.

From 2020 a new deal between former french colonies in West Africa will see them stop using the CFA franc and cut off financial ties with France.

These new changes will affect Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

President Macron said about this upcoming changes that “it’s the end of certain relics of the past. Yes it’s progress … I do not want influence through guardianship, I do not want influence through intrusion. That’s not the century that’s being built today.”

Past errors

In 2018 the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles also described another historical human rights abuse, Slave Trade as shameful and hopes it doesn’t recur.

The British royal said “Britain can be proud that it led the way in the abolition of this shameful trade”.

He however said Britain must “have a shared responsibility to ensure that the abject horror of slavery is never forgotten”.

Prince Charles was speaking to a gathering at the time in Ghana’s capital Accra where he had toured with his wife, Camilla.

Britain and France were key players in colonizing several countries especially in Africa.




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