French troops in Mali – another example of Françafrique?


On the 12th of October 2012, Francois Hollande made a speech to the crowds assembled in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. He told them ‘The time of Françafrique is over. There is France and there is Africa. There is a partnership between France and Africa’

The day before, the French president had confirmed that the French military would give logistical support to Malian troops. Three months later logistical support became military support as French troops landed in the country. French soldiers were crucial in helping government forces retake the West African nation. Their active presence is now winding down.

The very arrival of the French army was enough to prompt shouts of ‘Françafrique!’ from critics. Many fear that the Malian government’s invitation to the French will lead to a protracted stay, and a return to the neo-colonial interference of the 20th century.

Alex Burd went to the School of African and Oriental Studies [SOAS] in Russell Square, London, to talk to Dr Marie Rodet, an expert in Francophone Africa to discuss the scale and impact of Françafrique on the former colonies and their masters.

This podcast explores the past and the present of Franco-African relations. From the history and the structure of the relationship and Malian independence to the motives for French intervention in Mali and the future of Françafrique.

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