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Vol 51 No 15

Published 23rd July 2010


Forgotten promises

In 2007, a just-elected President Sarkozy promised to remake France’s Africa policies but strategic political and economic interests still prevail

On 14 July, troops from 13 African countries marched down the Champs-Elysées in the annual Bastille Day parade, while elderly sub- Saharan veterans of the French colonial army saw their pensions put on a level with comrades in France. These gestures, intended by President Nicolas Sarkozy as a salute to former colonies on the 50th anniversary of Independence, were widely seen as symbols of post-imperial paternalism. What has happened to the President’s election-night promise of 2007 that Africa would be one of his three foreign policy priorities, alongside Europe and the Middle East?

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