France expanding Africa Influence

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Armand2REP, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    What is French President Nicolas Sarkozy up to in Africa?

    This is the question analysts are asking following the announcement by Paris last week that it would ferry supplies to Kenyan troops fighting Islamist militias in Somalia.

    The French recently stepped up operations against Al Qaeda in North Africa after French citizens were kidnapped by the jihadists.

    This year alone, France has led military interventions in Libya and Ivory Coast, being the first country to recognise the Libyan rebels and to launch air strikes against the late Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

    However, France's visible role in supporting Kenya's military action against Al Shabaab is a significant departure, signalling the country's ambition to expand its sphere of influence to the greater East and Horn of Africa region.

    Last month, French oil multinational Total announced it had acquired stakes in key blocks off the coast of Lamu, strengthening a comeback by giant firms eyeing opportunities in Kenya's oil exploration business.

    Speculation is rife that France, like the other Nato allies who helped overthrow Gaddafi, will be expecting payback from Libya's new regime in the form of lucrative business contracts and in reconstructing the country.

    It is also said to be keen on preserving lucrative oil deals made under the former regime.

    Meanwhile, African Intelligence, a continental news service, reported in April that Paris was in negotiations with Nairobi to sell it the La Rieuse series of patrol boats, for the Kenyan navy to use to fight piracy on the waters of the Indian Ocean.

    "This boat became surplus to requirements after the restructuring of the French armed forces. The contract has not yet been signed, but the French ambassador to Nairobi Etiene de Poncins accompanied by embassy defence attaché Colonel Henri Leblanc met the Kenyan Minister for Defence on March 16 to push the matter forward," the news service reported.

    To further fuel the thinking that Mr Sarkozy is keen to increase France's sphere of influence in Africa and especially in East Africa, more Paris based multinationals are setting up shop in the region and his government has increased funding to key development projects.

    Paris, not content with Francophone Africa, has been aggressively spreading its activities to English-speaking countries, with South Africa and Kenya the primary targets.

    Over the past five years, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and recently Rwanda have been recipients of French investments, especially in the energy sector, while trade has surged and France has entered into a host of military agreements, defence pacts and bases around the continent.

    Sarkozy's address to the 16th African Union Summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on January 30 this year was unequivocal about France's future engagement with Africa. "We're not as far apart as is believed. Yes, there was colonisation, yes, there are disagreements, but today, geography brings us together. If we want to control migration flows and combat terrorism, we must help you succeed in your economic development. France is convinced of this reality," said Mr Sarkozy.

    Growing trade

    Statistics show trade between Kenya and France grew by at least 10 per cent, with official development body Agence Française de Developpement giving the country $124 million -- 27 per cent of all development aid last year.

    French companies such as France Telecom and oil major Total are already major players in the Kenyan economy.

    According to the Economic Survey 2010, the value of exports from Kenya to France rose to $49.9 million in 2009, from $45 million in 2006, while imports surged to $186.5 million from $124.5 million during the same period.

    "While most of the world's leading economies such as the US, Britain and China have been diversifying their interests in East Africa, France has recently come on board and Paris seems to have renewed its push to strengthen ties with the region," said Prof Macharia Munene, who teaches international relations at the United States International University, Nairobi.

    In April, the French government through the Agence Francaise de Developpement offered Nairobi a concessional loan of 56 million euros ($78.96 million) to be used to procure two geothermal drilling rigs and prepare a national power generation and transmission master plan.

    The agency has provided similar funding to Uganda and Tanzania for investment in renewable energy under its regional technical assistance programme.

    Meanwhile, three years after Kigali severed diplomatic ties with France, the Rwandan embassy in Paris was officially reopened in March. Last month, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame visited Paris in what was largely seen as a fence-mending mission with France.

    In November 2006, the Cabinet had decided to cut diplomatic ties with France when French judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere issued arrest warrants against nine Rwandan officials.

    In May, the French development agency said it planned to double its financial commitment to Tanzania to $150 million from the current $70 million annually.

    allAfrica.com: East Africa: The French Link in the Somali War - Sarkozy Extends Sphere of Influence in Anglophone Africa
     
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  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    France marginalizes the AU

    PRIME Minister Raila Odinga yesterday criticized the African Union over its handling of the Libyan crisis leading to the death of Muammar Gaddafi. Raila who spoke at opening of the 4th ordinary session of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the AU at Hilton hotel in Nairobi said prevarication by the AU on both the Libyan situation as well as Ivory Coast before it, had occasioned more deaths and embarrassment of African people.

    He said through its inaction, the AU - which he compared to its failed predecessor OAU - created a vacuum which necessitated France's involvement and reinforced the impression that Africans cannot solve their own problems. He said this was the case in Ivory Coast where France had to send troops to rout out Laurent Gbagbo from power.

    "Only two weeks ago, the reign and life of one of Africa's most flamboyant leaders and one of the AU's biggest financiers ended in a hail of bullets, after the loss of thousands of other lives. Once again, the AU stood by as the world accused Gaddafi of butchering his own people. It took French troops to intervene in Libya to put an end to the Gaddafi regime. Developments such as intervention by foreign governments add nothing to our desire as African people to shape our own destiny and raise our standing among nations," Raila said.

    He told the conference of his experience at the swearing in of Ivory Coast's president Alassane Outtara where French president Nicholas Sarkozy received the biggest accolades in the form of wild cheers by the people more than African leaders. Raila said there was no reason why the AU could not sent troops to Libya in the face of popular people's revolt. This would have put off NATO. He said he "talked, talked and talked" of a similar need to send troops to Ivory Coast to route Gbagbo but he was not listened to.

    "I hope we have learned that the AU must be proactive. It must stand up for Africa's people, and it must prove that it is not the same old OAU that was so well known for its inaction and its solidarity with African leaders in the face of excesses committed against own people," he said.

    Before him, trade unionist Francis Atwoli had criticized France's involvement in Libya saying it left no room for compromise between the two sides. He said if it were left to Africans, a compromise of sorts would have been reached which would have avoided deaths. ECOSOCC presiding chair Akere Muna had also accused the West of "sometimes not looking into the mirror." He criticized the West for not going after its banks which "handle stolen goods" in form of swindled African taxpayers money.

    But Raila insisted Africans should stop blaming the West for their own inaction and prevarication in solving continental problems. He said doublespeak and intransigence on the part of AU is what has been escalating problems and attracting outside help. He congratulated Tunisia for holding successful elections and appealed to Egypt to follow suit. During yesterday's session, speakers paid glowing tribute to the late Nobel laureate Prof Wangari Maathai who was the first presiding chair of the interim ECOSOCC.

    ECOSOCC is basically a parliament of diverse African non-state actors drawn from the civil society who advise the AU on its policies and programs. Maathai acted as interim presiding chair from 2005, a year after it was formed. Maathai's interim mandate was to organize a continent-wide election to establish a permanent general assembly which the representative of AU Commission yesterday described she did with unmistakable integrity, candor and courage. The assembly was inaugurated in 2008 and is in Nairobi to hold mid-term elections.
     
  4. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Potentially China and France could be facing each other in Africa.
    Viral like expansion of China is no secret there. This reminds me of the old African competition among the imperialist forces of previous centuries.
    While Asia is looking like a rising Sun, we're yet to see a changed Africa. Will it ever happen?

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The fun begins?



    Now I Believe In Miracles
    And A Miracle
    Has Happened Tonight

    But, If
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    About My Baby
    It Don't Matter If You're
    Black Or White
     
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  6. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Esoteric, what?

    Take this"



    Look at the deeper meaning of both!
     
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  8. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    We already face each other, the difference is France uses money and guns to make foreign policy while China uses money and shovels. The result is 36,000 kicked out of Libya and the Chicom made Palace of Gbagbo smoldering ruins. Now we move to Anglophile Africa to spread our dominance there by helping Kenya attack a mutual enemy. We don't send armies of shovels to Africa to steal jobs while countries get a bad taste of China in their mouth, Africans are sick of them and elections are being decided on it. French are being cheered while Chinese are being jeered.
     
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  9. charlyondfi

    charlyondfi Regular Member

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    Dear Armond: to be honest, I have totally, definitely, and absolutely no opinion that France is expanding its influence in Africa while "expelling" China. It's easy, though I and some my relatives have increasing business stake there, Taiwan is too small in geopolitics games. I admit it.

    Just: remember to borrow enough money from China to fund your activities there, ok? Put on your note and make sure Sarkozy is humble enough to get that money...
    Will Europe seek China's help to solve debt crisis? Will Europe Seek China’s Help to Solve Debt Crisis? - International Business Times
    Sarkozy criticized for seeking China's help - Bloomberg http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/20...rope-seeks-investors?category=/news/mostread/
     
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  10. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    A quarter of China's FX reserves are in the Euro so they have no choice. A crash in the value is bad for China but good for Europe as we need to stop buying Chinese crap and start importing Eastern Euro crap then exporting more high value items. France has the AAA while USA falls so it isn't our debt problem but PIGS. China will do whatever it has to for the Euro to stay at high prices.
     
  11. charlyondfi

    charlyondfi Regular Member

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    Armond: I'm not talking about currency depreciation nor reservation. Simply calm yourself and answer directly my point: the world is watching Sarcozy asking money/help from China.
     
  12. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    He is looking for investors in his bailout fund. Better to have Chinese taxpayers footing the bill more than we already have to. Sounds like good policy to me.
     
  13. charlyondfi

    charlyondfi Regular Member

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    Dear Armond, you have been most of the time, especially in weapons debating, logically & been wiling to provide link.

    However, as long as you start to defend Sarkozy's policy -- what's that? asking for help from China -- you are already in the lower hand... ...
    Under world watching and you asked for someone's help is a good policy? Tell me, what if China refuse? (which it seems China tend to:
    Some officials from China, Brazil and other emerging-market countries — in a demonstration of their growing international swagger — have stoked speculation that they could provide money for Europe’s bailout fund. Europe Shouldn’t Count on a Chinese Bailout - Real Time Economics - WSJ
    Then the world will see "Sarkozy asked for help, but turned down by China." How can that be good policy?
    The best argument against my statement will be totally denying it: "NO, we France is still strong enough, more than you can imagine, to solve Europe debt crisis alone. Sarkozy simply lost his mind, and ball, to seek help from China. He does NOT know what he is talking about.
    If you have answered that, then it's my doom trying to deny it -- I will need to sink in deep sea of proving France is NOT that strong, and so on as so forth...
    Have a nice evening then
     
  14. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    French and German taxpayers are tired of footing the bill for PIGS, getting others to foot the bill is good domestic as well as economic policy. Is it worse than saying "YES, France has an endless supply of money to pay off PIGS debt! Sarkozy simply has lost his mind thinking we will keep paying for others wreckless spending." The opposition is trying to score political points on an matter that is good for the bailout package. There is no concession going to China, it is China that will concede their money into an investment that is better than the broke back dollar. If Sarko gets nothing he will look like a fool, if he secures it he will be the diplomatic face of the EU bailout.
     
  15. charlyondfi

    charlyondfi Regular Member

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    Armand the restless fighter...

    Ok you got a good "domestic" policy to seek money from foreign country. So you admit France does need money from China, for debt crises.

    But of course you only need money for that. You do NOT need money to "expand France influence in Africa".

    Remind me to help you campaign that good domestic policy to your fellow French: "NO worry, the tax you paid will be spent at such as 'expanding France influence in Africa'. And NOT, I repeat, NOT on Europe debt crisis as I know you are tired of it. Huh? how we are going to settle that crisis? ... ... ... ... well, we will somehow ask China to help us pay for it, with a good 'domestic policy'
    -- let's not discuss what if China refuse, nor to discuss how we justify our influence expanding in Africa at price of our Europe 'PIGS' friends. After all, Africa is more important."



    And, below remark is totally independent of our previous discussion. Pls do NOT mix it. I just want to comment on China's attitude toward this debt crisis:
    "It is China that will concede their money into an investment that is better than the broke back dollar" ---- on the contrary, I tend to say China will NOT -- the risk for it to pour money in is almost the same as it does NOT, 50 to 50. I believe that's also why other developing country (Brazil?) share it and hesitate. Gesture the maximal, but never a even-close-to-half scale rescue. German and France will need to find money somewhere else... ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  16. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    self delete
     
  17. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    "It is China that will concede their money into an investment that is better than the broke back dollar"

    CPC is giving a hard slap on your face.

    胡锦涛:中方注意到欧元区有能力解决主权债务问题_资讯频道_凤凰网
    In answering the question regarding finacial instability in Europe, Hu commented that European countries are facing some difficulties and the international community is paying attention to it. He also noted that leaders of different European countries have conveyed that Europe has determination, ability and resources to solve the debt crisis. Meaning China is in no hurry to step in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  18. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Hold your horses, there isn't even going to be a bailout now that Greece is preparing for a referendum. They are about to vote themselves out of the Eurozone... thank God!
     

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