Monday, May 28, 2007

Could France’s new odd couple—Sarkozy and Kouchner—spell the end of French privilege for Africa’s most venal?


In the 1960s, post-colonial Africa was the most hopeful place on the planet. Post-partum exuberance in Europe’s former colonies was infectious and abundant. Yet fate has not been kind to sub-Saharan Africa. From Namibia to Guinea to Somalia, the path of most sub-Saharan nations has traced an arc of intimate complicity with the predatory appetites of their former colonial masters. Nowhere has this neo-colonial continuation of anti-development and enrichment by and for the few been more evident than in France’s former colonies.

The nature of governance in these ex-colonies attests to the abiding power of the self-serving instinct and immediate gain, over and against the long-term goal of national progress. Such is the confounding irony of Africa’s entire post-colonial era in nations previously occupied by France, Britain, Portugal and Belgium alike: why is the colonial, predatory model of governance so faithfully re-enacted by ruling African elites? It’s as if all that negative conditioning only succeeded in instilling a predatory instinct in the new ruling class. Why are Mandela-style visions for collective prosperity not more common, given the shared experience of subjugation and occupation across the continent?
read the rest of this article, posted at 3quarksdaily, here.

1 comment:

jc durbant said...

Thanx for a great wrap up of the Françafrique system, but if I got you right, you seem quite pesimistic about your former boss's chances of doing away with it, not to mention Brussels ...

http://jcdurbant.blog.lemonde.fr/2007/06/07/afrique-vers-la-fin-de-la-france-a-fric-bruxelles-et-le-quai-auront-ils-raison-des-meilleurs-instincts-de-kouchner/