The new attitude that French authorities intend to take towards Africa was shown Wednesday in naming to the government a junior minister for development, replacing the former post of junior minister for cooperation. A Euro-MP from the Green party, Pascal Canfin, 37, was given this job in place of Henri de Raincourt, 63.

Date published on SAFPI: 
Friday, 18 May, 2012
Date published on source: 
Thursday, 17 May, 2012
Source organisation: 
Ahram Online
Keyword tags: 

France favours "equal ties" with Africa: foreign minister

Egypt: France's new foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said Thursday that the Socialist-led government seeks relations with Africa on a footing of "equals to equals", to break with past practice.  "With Africa, we must have a partnership of equals to equals," Fabius told journalists when questioned about the plans of new French President Francois Hollande to break with the policies known as "France-Afrique", referring to the murky and complex political and business ties between Paris and its former colonies.

"We are going to deal with our African friends in a transparent fashion having a desire for partnership in development," Fabius added. "France is traditionally linked to this continent. So we will deal with our African partners in a way that is completely open, democratic."

Fabius expressed confidence "in the future of the African continent. It's a continent which is due for considerable growth in terms of population but also in economic terms, which has extraordinary potential."

The new attitude that French authorities intend to take towards Africa was shown Wednesday in naming to the government a junior minister for development, replacing the former post of junior minister for cooperation. A Euro-MP from the Green party, Pascal Canfin, 37, was given this job in place of Henri de Raincourt, 63.

A former journalist, Canfin is a specialist in economic issues and is expected to make his mark on the French Development Agency (AFD), a public body run like a bank that is overseen by the foreign ministry.

Another noteworthy change since Hollande's election is the appointment of a woman, Helene Le Gal, to take charge of the team responsible for African affairs within the diplomatic group working directly for the head of state.

* AFP

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