French president Sarkozy’s speech on Africa gets much criticism

This video is called Algerian Genocide by France.

From British daily The Guardian:

Mbeki criticised for praising ‘racist’ Sarkozy

· SA president congratulates French leader on speech
· Senegal address widely condemned by Africans

Chris McGreal in Johannesburg

Monday August 27, 2007

South Africa’s president, Thabo Mbeki, has been forced to defend his description of Nicolas Sarkozy as “a citizen of Africa”, for a speech by the French president that was widely condemned elsewhere on the continent as racist.

Mr Mbeki wrote to the rightwing French leader praising an address to a university audience in Senegal last month in which Mr Sarkozy said that Africans had turned their back on progress.

“The tragedy of Africa is that the African has never really entered into history … They have never really launched themselves into the future,” Mr Sarkozy said.

In fact, a rehash of German philosopher Hegel two hundred years ago. Hegel, however, still had excuses like that he had never been to Africa, and not that much about Africa was known in Europe then. Sarkozy does not. Has he never been to the Louvre in Paris to see ancient Egyptian history? Or to another museum in Paris to learn about the architectural history of Tombouctou or ancient Zimbabwe?

Mr Sarkozy also defended France’s past role in Africa by saying that while it may have made “mistakes”, it “did not exploit anybody”.

So, Mr Sarkozy repeated his distorted views on the history of the French slave traders in Africa. Has he also never heard about French oil corporations in Africa? About cotton corporation Cotonfran in Chad and elsewhere?

The speech was widely condemned, including by the head of the African Union commission, Alpha Oumar Konare. “This speech was not the kind of break we were hoping for,” he told Radio France Internationale. “It reminded us of another age, especially his comments about peasants.” Other critics said that while Mr Sarkozy asked younger Africans if they wanted an end to corruption and violence, he failed to acknowledge the role of France in propping up abusive regimes. …

Mr Mbeki’s letter has led to criticism in the media and among African diplomats.

One South African political commentator, Xolela Mangcu, wrote in The Weekender newspaper: “Does Mbeki say one thing in public and a different thing in private correspondence with western leaders? Could that be the reason he is treated by suspicion by some African leaders?

“At the very least I would have expected him to have joined other African leaders and publicly condemn Sarkozy.” …


France maintains closer ties to its former African possessions and their leaders than other former colonial powers. It underpins the common currency used in some central and west African Francophone countries, maintains large military bases there and has proven more willing to send troops to the continent to defend its allies, including the Hutu regime in Rwanda that oversaw the 1994 genocide.

African nations can no longer afford to be France’s garden: here.

9 thoughts on “French president Sarkozy’s speech on Africa gets much criticism

  1. 25 MAY


    In Africa, this year, the issue of security must not leave the African people distracted from the new realities. In terms of food security, the crisis due to the soaring prices of basic foodstuffs and products of farms worldwide and of the rise of oil price, which is a part of the practice of speculative manipulation,, the threat to shift from producing food for people to producing ethanol for vehicles, has dramatically led the concerns to the question of life and death.

    While the world is still witnessing the endless crisis in Darfur or in Somalia, there are other issues which need to be addressed as well. The very temptation to produce biofuels in Africa presents a real threat. The skyrocketing prices of food might push African people to the brink of collapse, physically, psychologically and even mentally. Africa has large territories of arable lands enough to cultivate different kinds of staples. The hunger-hit African population need to use these lands , they need fund, cooperation and solidarity to explore this possibility. Hunger is a weapon of mass destruction, and food crisis may well spark this threat to happen with unforeseeable consequences.The urgent action to be taken should be to produce and provide cheap food to people instead of ethanol for vehicles.

    In terms of life safeguard for African nations and their citizens, the drama for their security has come up with the score of rich western countries having settled in many parts of Africa with their countless troops and military bases. In the Horn of Africa and in Djibouti in particular, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, England and the United States are already present. In the name of fighting terrorism, the US had mounted a series of vast military infrastructures and military commands from the West to the East of Africa. The US Africa Command, known as AFRICOM, has come in to reinforce the US presence in this regard against the backdrop of ulterior motive related to African oil. AFRICOM has been unilaterally imposed by the US and is set to be operationnal on September this year and has the ability to intervene militarily in case of need. AAPSO commended the attitude adopted by many African leaders who strongly refused to host AFRICOM on their respective territories.

    AAPSO believes in the capacity of the AFRICAN UNION to challenge these threats.

    One can only wonder whether those who want Africa to be eternally dependent on foreign powers in order to be manipulated, exploited and dominated, to always be in situation of backwardness, of poverty-driven continent, of being the permanent theatre of conflicts or civil wars, really exist in the world?

    May the commemoration of AFRICA DAY be an eye-opener to look carefully into the future of the African continent, with greater vigilance, prudence, circunspection and solidarity.


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