Editor’s Note: May 31, 2018

Time to rethink ‘Françafrique’?

It’s been a busy month for France – Africa relations. Libya’s warring factions have just agreed to hold long-anticipated elections at a summit in Paris, hot on the heels of a  high profile visit by Angola’s president and a major tech conference with Africa featuring prominently.

The flurry of activity is becoming the norm under president Emmanuel Macron, who has made improving Franco-African relations a pillar of his foreign policy.

He has visited the continent seven times promising a new era for ‘Françafrique’, as relations between France and its former African colonies are known. This means changing generally negative perceptions of Paris’s influence on the continent.

HIs approach has had mixed reviews, with critics arguing it lacks substance. Matters have not been helped by a number of PR hiccups, including accusations of racism against Macron.

Despite this the level of engagement from France undoubtedly stands out from his predecessors. It’s worth noting that this is not limited to former colonies. Kenya recently hosted a major delegation of French businesses, and hopes to generate $10bn of investment from the visit.

With just over a year in office it’s too early to rule out Macron’s new Françafrique.

From The Continent

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has started talks with opposition groups to review a contentious 2009 anti-terrorism law critics say has been used to stifle dissent. This is part of a process of national reconciliation under new prime minister Abiy Ahmed, 41, who took office in April amid intense popular pressure for reform in Africa’s fastest growing economy. More: Africanews


imbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced the country’s first post-Mugabe era elections will be held on July 30. Mnangagwa has promised a free and fair vote, and has invited western observers for the first time since 2002. More: Al Jazeera 

The Daily Stat

$1.4bn

The amount Egypt plans to spend over two years to develop its power grid. More: Reuters

The Global Perspective

Coca Cola will invest $100m in Kenya over the next five years as part of a plan to introduce 50 new products into East Africa’s second largest economy. A growing middle class is fueling demand for a greater variety of drinks, the company said. MoreCGTN

International miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo have said they will seek legal action if objections to a new mining code which increases royalties on metals such as cobalt by up to 10% are not addressed. The move marks the latest step in an ongoing standoff between miners and the government over the issue. More: Reuters

The Daily Follow

CDC Group @CDCgroup: News and updates from the UK’s development finance institution