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France Hosts Summit for Peace and Security in Africa

France Hosts Summit for Peace and Security in Africa

Published on December 6, 2013

Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa - Final Declaration
Paris, December 7 2013

The Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa was held in Paris on 6-7 December. It dealt with peace and security in Africa, the economic partnership and development, and climate change.

Fifty-three delegations from African countries and France took part in the summit, as well as representatives from the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

Peace and security

1. The heads of state and government reiterated their commitment to collective security in Africa and to encouraging peace and promoting human rights, in line with the goals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitutive Act of the African Union. They called for enhanced strategic dialogue between Africa and France for a shared vision of threats. They affirmed that peace, security, and the promotion and protection of human rights were inseparable and that a rapid response in the event of serious human rights violations could be an effective conflict prevention tool.

2. The heads of state and government agreed on the importance of an effective multilateral system that is representative of today’s world, based on a strong, renovated United Nations. In particular, they called for a reform of the United Nations Security Council, increasing the role of Africa in the framework of an enlarged Council while preserving its ability to maintain international peace and security to enhance collective security as provided for by the Charter of the United Nations.

3. The heads of state and government welcomed the considerable progress made by the African Union, the regional economic communities, and the African nations in implementing African peacekeeping operations in Mali, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Burundi, Sudan (Darfur) and the Comoros. These initiatives provide African solutions to African problems and need to be supported by the international community.

4. With this in mind, the heads of state and government highlighted the importance of building African crisis response capacities. France committed to supporting the African Union’s efforts to reach full operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) by 2015, as well as the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), as decided by the African Union summit in May 2013.

5. The heads of state and government called for a major international mobilization to increase the level and predictability of financing for African peacekeeping operations. As a member of the United Nations Security Council, France will continue to play an active role in this area. They reiterated their determination to ensure the success of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), particularly in terms of prevention and mediation.

6. The heads of state and government congratulated the African Union on the annual High-Level Retreat on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa and encouraged it to strengthen this forum, including through drawing on relevant international experiences.

They also took note of the proposal to organize in 2014 an informal Forum in Senegal on security in Africa, in liaison with the African Union’s international partners, in order to deepen reflection on the commitments made during the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa.

7. The heads of state and government highlighted that the establishment of terrorist and criminal networks – drug and human traffickers, poachers and traffickers in endangered species, who fuel corruption networks, as well as those who exploit natural resources illegally – are a threat to peace and security in Africa and worldwide. They reiterated their common commitment to preventing and fighting these threats together. They expressed their determination to curb the production, processing, consumption and trafficking of drugs on both continents, to combat related illicit financial flows, and strengthen judicial and security cooperation to this end. They also affirmed their support for increased involvement of international, sub-regional and regional organizations in the fight against these scourges. They considered that partnerships in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime should emphasize training and information sharing.

8. Aware of the threats linked to piracy and maritime trafficking, and building on the success achieved in the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean, the heads of state and government committed to continuing their efforts and improving regional and international cooperation to ensure the security of the African maritime domain. France will support the process launched by the Yaoundé Summit on the Gulf of Guinea by proposing expertise in terms of state action at sea and supporting the structuring of land organization and the training of maritime operators.

9. The heads of state and government wished to prioritize the issue of border regions and border security, particularly in the Sahel-Sahara area. France will support these efforts in the countries that so desire via capacity building projects for security and defence forces, cross-border cooperation, and development of the interoperability of African armed forces. The heads of state and government welcomed the launch of the Nouakchott Process on security cooperation and operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahel-Sahara region, as well as the organization of the second conference on border security in Sahel-Sahara countries, held in Rabat on 14 November 2013.

10. Desiring to strengthen their counter-terrorism action in compliance with human rights and public freedoms, the heads of state and government encouraged the ratification and implementation by all African States of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. They highlighted that the causes of terrorism must be tackled and expressed a desire to initiate regular dialogue on radicalization factors.

11. With the aim of combating the spread of conventional weapons, the heads of state and government committed to signing and ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as soon as possible and welcomed France’s offer of assistance with regard to its implementation.

12. The heads of state and government support the appeal made to them by the First Ladies, meeting during the summit to condemn the intolerable persistence of sexual violence in conflicts. They have committed to combat the impunity of the perpetrators of sexual violence and to implement national action plans involving civil society organizations, aimed at putting an end to this violence in accordance with the “Women, Peace and Security” resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

13. The heads of state and government recognize the need to fully include women in political and economic decision-making, notably by establishing measures to promote equal access for men and women to elected positions and roles, so that peace and security, economic development and the response to climate change challenges can become a tangible reality.

14. The heads of state and government highlighted the benefits of implementing the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and Their Destruction, as well as the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

15. France committed to addressing these various issues within the European Union, during the European Council of 19-20 December 2013 which, among other themes, will deal with defence and security issues, and to promoting them during the EU-Africa summit in April 2014.

Economic partnership and development

16. The heads of state and government highlighted the strengths of the economic relationship between Africa and France to implement the integration process proclaimed by the African Union and the goals of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). They affirmed their determination to modernize this relationship to spur on economic exchanges. They emphasized the need to promote quality growth, which creates jobs, based on the balanced mobilization of physical, human and natural capital. They encourage a sustainable economy based notably on renewable energy sources and harnessing ocean resources.

17. The heads of state and government reiterated their support for the initiatives carried out at international level, in particular by the European Union, to achieve the highest standards of economic and financial transparency. Together they called for tax havens to be combated, and for support to be provided to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the initiatives of the World Bank and African Development Bank to facilitate the transparency of industrial contracts.

18. The heads of state and government highlighted the importance of making human exchanges the driving force behind our economic relationship, and to focus on young people in order to secure its future. They agreed to promote detection and promotion of young entrepreneurial talent for the development of reciprocal exchanges. They emphasized the advantages of creating a French-African Foundation for Growth in order to bring together public and private interests from France and Africa. They encouraged efforts to facilitate conditions for the mobility and movement of business people, which will continue.

19. The heads of state and government took note of the joint declaration signed by the African and French business organizations, in particular as regards social and environmental responsibility, and committed to fostering investment in vocational training and stimulating scientific and technical cooperation between African and French experts to foster innovation. This requires increased mobilization from African and French economic actors, particularly the companies which are meeting for the event organized by the French Ministry for the Economy alongside the summit, following the “Partnership for the Future” report prepared prior to the summit.

20. The heads of state and government highlighted their determination to create a physical and legal security framework for investments enabling greater mobilization of private investors.

21. The heads of state and government committed to working together with multilateral partners, at the OECD and within international financial institutions, as well as with rating agencies, to help reduce perceived African financial risk and to address the current factors which cause overpricing.

22. The heads of state and government stated their will to mobilize multilateral banks and their concessional funds as well as the European Development Fund in order to increase sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa. Via the Agence française de développement (French Development Agency, AFD), France commits to promoting Africa’s sustainable development from an economic, social and environmental point of view, as well as the values of democracy, rule of law and gender equality. It will continue to work towards regional integration, Africa’s inclusion in international exchanges and the mobilization of the private sector for developing African infrastructures.

23. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and African regional economic communities must help Africa to better integrate into international exchanges and must be sufficiently flexible to enable the African countries which so wish to take part. France favours concluding the EPA regional negotiation process, with scheduling and content which better suits African countries.

24. The heads of state and government committed to promoting the innovative use of financing sources, in order to meet the development needs on the African continent in the areas of health, education, agriculture, fisheries, food security, promotion of biodiversity and the fight against climate change. They committed to implementing the highest requirements of transparency as regards public opinion and aid effectiveness. In line with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), France will publish the details of its development assistance.

25. The heads of state and government expressed their determination to promote vibrant and balanced trade between Africa and France by pursuing the goal of doubling the volume of mutual trade in five years.

26. The heads of state and government agreed to step up the economic and business partnerships by organizing a meeting between French and African Economy Ministers in 2014 and an Africa-France business forum bringing together companies, as well as to jointly plan a schedule of major economic and business meetings.

Climate change

27. The heads of state and government recalled the vital importance of acting swiftly on the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. They highlighted their joint commitment to drawing up, at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held in Paris in 2015, a new binding agreement under the convention, which will apply to all parties and must enter into force by 2020 at the latest.

The heads of state and government further recalled the urgent need for all parties to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions, without prejudice to the legal nature of the contribution, towards achieving the overall objective of the convention, in the context of adopting a binding agreement, and to communicate them well in advance of COP21 here in Paris. France expressed its readiness to provide support to African countries which so wish, to prepare their contributions in due time.

28. The heads of state and government highlighted the need for a balanced climate agreement in Paris in 2015, focusing both on mitigation and adaptation, and including the means of implementation, in particular strengthening technology transfer, capacity building measures for the most vulnerable countries, and the provision of financial resources for Africa in accordance with the convention.

29. In this regard, the heads of state and government welcomed the convening by the United Nations Secretary-General of a climate summit to be held on 23 September 2014 aimed at mobilizing efforts and ambition in the climate change area. The European Union-Africa Summit in April 2014 will provide an opportunity to address the themes of economic partnership and climate change.

30. The heads of state and government stressed the importance of promoting a positive agenda for the fight against climate disruption, based on cooperation between parties, in order to maximize the opportunities provided by the fight against climate change for poverty reduction, sustainable socio-economic development, access to energy, the fight against desertification, deforestation and soil degradation and support for agriculture which is resilient to climate change.

The heads of state and government recognized that Africa has enormous potential in terms of renewable energies and they commit to working together to drastically reduce the cost, with the aim of halving it. They affirmed their support for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. They particularly welcomed its aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services, to double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. France will support countries which commit to national and regional SE4All plans through a technical assistance facility aimed at speeding up the development of sustainable energies in Africa.

31. The heads of state and government highlighted the importance of immediately implementing actions to adapt to climate change over the long term in Africa, taking into account the specific needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). They called for adaptation actions to ensure that critical infrastructure in Africa is made more climate resilient with the involvement of all stakeholders, including bilateral and multilateral development banks and the private sector. With this in mind, France will ensure that all infrastructure projects which it finances in Africa can cope with the impacts of climate change from 2015 onwards.

32. France committed to helping African countries which so wish to gain access to financial resources and international instruments to prepare and implement climate policies and action plans, and to expanding its own bilateral support programme to this end.

33. The heads of state and government recalled the importance of improving the accounting of public and private financing in the fight against climate change and highlighted that it is urgent to build a simple, effective and ambitious financial architecture based on the principle of country ownership, promoting direct access to financing in Africa. France commits to working with its partners to increase the transparency, predictability and sustainability of means of implementation mobilized by developed countries.

The heads of state and government supported the recent decisions adopted by the Board of the Green Climate Fund and COP19 and called for the work of the Board to continue in order to ensure an ambitious capitalization and effective operationalization not later than COP20 in December 2014, which would be a significant contribution to mobilizing support for Africa. They requested that multilateral, bilateral and national development banks fully integrate climate issues, both as regards mitigation and adaptation, and called on these actors to collaborate so that climate financing can be used more effectively. They recognized that redirecting fossil fuel subsidies should benefit climate change actions, taking into consideration the stakes for poverty reduction, social equity and energy access.

34. They recalled that in the light of the major additional financing requirements to fight climate change, it is essential to continue identifying various sources of finance, including innovative finance, such as the financial transaction tax established by France in 2012, part of which is allocated to combating climate change in developing countries.

France commits to contributing to the Green Climate Fund, and the national finance law has already allocated to the fund part of the revenue from its financial transaction tax. It will also continue to support the development of specific renewable-energy and energy-efficiency projects via the Agence française de développement (French Development Agency, AFD) and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM). France is thus undertaking to carry out the essential qualitative redirecting of financial flows to support sustainable development that contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Africa.

35. The heads of state and government welcomed the proposal to hold another summit, in Mali.

¹ Source of English text: Elysée website.

Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa – Speech by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic¹

Paris, 6 December 2013

Mr Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Mr President of the European Council,
Mr President of the African Union,
Mr President of the European Commission,
Madam President of the Commission of the African Union,
Heads of State and Government,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Fifty-three African countries are represented here for this meeting. Your presence confirms the importance you attach to the subjects of this summit: security, development and the preservation of our planet.

France is honoured to welcome you here and I would like to express my gratitude for this gathering. For France, Africa is a continent with a future. Along with Asia, Africa is today the main engine of global growth. Africa’s economic and social structures are changing fast, and its development is fully under way.


France has a special relationship with Africa. That relationship is linked to history, and that history has sometimes been tragic. The relationship is above all based on the human ties which have been forged from generation to generation, with French nationals living in Africa and Africans who have come to live in France. I consider that these presences are assets in our exchanges, that they are an opportunities for our economies and for the relations that France needs to forge with all of Africa, with French-speaking Africa of course, and with English-, Portuguese-, Arabic- and Spanish-speaking Africa – with all of Africa.

France is aware of what is expected of us. Because of that proximity – a proximity that is simultaneously geographic, sentimental, cultural, linguistic and economic – we have a particular responsibility.

But times have changed. Relationships can no longer be what they have been in the past. I have on several occasions, wherever I have been in Africa, said that a new era is dawning, that Africa needed full control of its destiny and that to achieve that, it needed to ensure its security itself – yes, itself. That statement may surprise at a time when France is called upon to intervene in a country – the Central African Republic – following a Security Council resolution, at the request of the African Union.

African military force/DRC/Mali/CAR

Yes, that statement may be surprising. In fact it says a lot about a situation. Africa has managed to endow itself with the means to act. It has shown that in the past, a few years ago, in Burundi and the Comoros, and once again today in Somalia to combat the Al-Shabaab, with a military force counting more than 20,000 people. Africa has also managed to show that it could maintain peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Mali, and again today in the Central African Republic, where an African force has received a United Nations mandate.

At the same time, we all know that there are insufficiencies, failings and fragilities, that there is a need – and this is the need we have to confront – to prepare the African forces to address all threats and to be able to ensure they have, in their regional organizations or in the African Union, the resources they need to ensure African security.

This situation firstly concerns your continent – Africa – but also us in Europe. This is because our two continents form a single whole, subject to the same threats and facing the same dangers. Our two continents, which wish to forge even closer ties, must therefore act together to banish these risks and dominate these threats.

Terrorism/military cooperation partnership

What are these threats? Firstly, terrorism. We have been combating it in the Sahel, and recently in Mali. But we are also confronting and fighting it in Somalia, Kenya and Libya. Not always the same groups, but all with the same face – extremism – and the same intentions – of destabilizing states, frightening populations and even conquering territories. These groups now have considerable resources, originating from all forms of trafficking, and have access to very sophisticated weaponry that even sovereign states cannot always manage to acquire.

This is why France is proposing a new military cooperation partnership, prioritizing advice, training, equipment and intelligence, in order to ensure that Africa’s armies have all the resources they need to combat these threats.

I know that Europe will be present to show not only its solidarity with a friendly continent, but also responsibility in the pooling of resources and forces.


There is not only terrorism. I mentioned trafficking, all sorts of trafficking, of drugs, weapons and human beings, of protected species and ivory taken from elephants at the risk of undermining biodiversity. This fight against all traffickers needs to be implacable, because there is a link between this trafficking, terrorism, and the rebel groups that destabilize states. This is why, on behalf of France, I will advocate at the G8 for a meeting of heads of state dedicated specifically to combating drug trafficking.


Lastly, there is another danger. We have seen it growing in recent years. That is piracy. There is piracy to both the west and east of Africa. I know that the African Union has decided to draw up an Integrated Maritime Strategy. This is a good approach, bolstering the action plans that have been formulated by regional organizations including ECOWAS and ECCAS. That was in June. Here again, I would like to announce that France will support your every effort and that it stands ready to form a common structure to coordinate your action at sea.

AU/rapid reaction force

But beyond these responses, however necessary they are, we are aware that they will not be enough. What is the goal that we must promote, together? That goal is the creation of a rapid reaction force, in the African Union framework. This project requires command and intelligence capabilities. It needs the units of various nationalities that make up the force to be able to act jointly.

That is the responsibility of the Africans. Once again though, France is prepared to provide its full support to this force through the provision of military officers to headquarters, and through training missions. If you so decide, France can train 20,000 African soldiers per year.

Security is thus a question of an organization, a force. But our summit cannot boil down merely to that conception of security. For we know that security is also a matter of development – or rather, development is a matter of security. The two ambitions and requirements converge.

In this area of development, France would like to be a partner of Africa. I would like to recall that France is the country that invests most in Africa, through its businesses. France is one of the major official development assistance donors in Africa. And France is the leading destination country for African students.


But France, along with Europe, would like to be even more involved in the destiny of your continent. This is why I have facilitated the mobility of African talents and entrepreneurs, so that they can come to France and so that visas are not a mere constraint, but on the contrary an additional opportunity for exchange and creation.

The day before yesterday, in a parallel conference to today’s event on the economy, and like all stakeholders present, fully aware that tomorrow’s economy will heavily depend on the strength and vibrancy of African businesses, I stated that France could participate in a French-African Foundation for Growth. This Foundation could mobilize both public and private interests as well as French, African and European funds in order to move us together, via the Foundation, towards innovation and new technologies. The goal I have set is to double the level of trade between France and Africa in five years.


But I am also aware that action is expected from France and from Europe as regards further increasing our work for development. I have therefore decided to allocate €20 billion over the next five years to the development of Africa, in the form of donations and loans. Because I believe that Africa is the world’s new frontier which will enable us to further broaden our field of knowledge, expertise, empowerment and also prosperity, which for too many years has been lacking in Africa.

But my commitment, France’s commitment, also calls for other commitments from Africa itself, in particular transparency and good-governance requirements. Everyone here knows that it is the states which best guarantee freedoms – both public and economic – that attract the most investment. Democracy and human rights are the best weapons with which to defend stability and security. They alone are not enough, but they are a means of addressing both the disorder and inspiration of populations.

Over several years, the pluralistic election process has become the main democratic process in Africa. I frankly and sincerely believe that it is the only process possible. It is irreversible and France cannot allow any regressions or failures.

The same goes for the serious crimes committed in Africa, of which there are many: violence against women, organized crime, the crushing of a number of peoples. It is only right that those responsible for these acts be prosecuted. This is the role of the International Criminal Court – to rule on such crimes when national legal systems are unable to do so. We must place our faith in the international courts.

Preservation of planet/climate change

Peace and development are also achieved by preserving our planet. First and foremost, the responsibility falls on developed countries, as it is these countries which controlled and absorbed Africa’s resources for years. But today, we share a common responsibility, as we can see, as can you, the risks of climate change: increased desertification, deforestation, lack of water, risks for biodiversity. There is also the risk of protected species becoming extinct.

We must act urgently, both in the name of the environment and security, as climate disorder is a factor which enables certain groups to prey on poverty and distress to serve their own interests. In this area, France once again deemed that a share of its aid should be allocated to the sustainable development objectives. The French Development Agency will invest €1 billion per year on these projects.

In the same vein, at least 13 European countries have created a financial transaction tax. This will be implemented in the coming months. Part of it could be channelled to the Green Climate Fund, and thus serve as an example to other countries, illustrating that we must all play our part in the essential efforts to preserve our planet.

This, my friends, was what I stated here in the introduction to our summit: that we must address all aspects of peace – not only security, but also development, the environment and the preservation of our planet.


I would have liked to only have to discuss peace, but in this area too, there have been developments on the very eve of this summit. Today, in the heart of Africa, people are suffering and are requesting our help: the people of the Central African Republic. We can no longer allow the massacres to continue, women and children to be raped, or atrocities to be committed, including in hospitals. Inter-religious conflict can get out of hand and create behaviours and situations in Central Africa which so far have not been seen.

The Security Council, and here I would like to pay tribute to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has just given a mandate to an African force to restore order, protect the population and ensure stability which can subsequently lead to elections. I stress that elections must be held, as any process put in place must lead to elections. No country can be deprived of the right to choose its leaders.

France has decided to support this African force. Its action began last night because before our summit took place and before there was danger, I wanted France’s intentions to be clear, alongside the Africans, supported by the Europeans, under a Security Council mandate. This is not just a security commitment – it is also our duty to make it a humanitarian commitment.

Dear friends,

Today’s summit is exceptional in every respect. It is exceptional because we are meeting the day after the passing of Nelson Mandela, a man who reminds us of our emotion when he was released from prison and came to power, and of our obligation to heed his message of peace and allow no people to be subdued, oppressed or dominated.

Our summit is exceptional due to the issues addressed – in particular peace – and due to your involvement. All of Africa is here today – all of Africa, with its diversity, its many languages and its sometimes varied levels of development but nonetheless shared ambition: to be a continent which is united, proud and inclusive.

Since the context, the issues, and the scale of the summit (given the presence of the African Union and the European Union) make it exceptional, our decisiveness must also be exceptional. It is for this reason that I am calling for an exceptional alliance between Africa and Europe to work in the interests of peace, development and the future of our planet.

Thank you very much.

¹ Source of English text: Elysée website.

Conference for a new economic partnership model between Africa and France: Closing speech by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (excerpts)

Paris, December 4, 2013

Too often, we focus on the past and, at times, on compassion. We view Africa as if it were the sick continent. We still don’t see that Africa is the continent of tomorrow, the continent of the future, and that there’s an opportunity there: firstly, for the Africans to highlight even more their growing role, their determination and their capabilities; but an opportunity too for the major industrialized countries to go and invest in Africa. The emerging countries have at times been quicker about doing this and have understood sooner than others the benefits of forging relations with Africa.

Yet the figures are implacable, indisputable. They have been repeated.

Growth in Africa exceeds 5% a year, when in Europe we’re happy to get 0.5%! Or at least, we aren’t happy to get 0.5%! We’re looking at a continent which, of course, is catching up, which, of course, is expanding, but which has managed to bring growth up to a high level and keep it there.

Secondly, trade with the rest of the world has increased. In other words, Africa isn’t an inward-looking continent whose growth is supposedly endogenous. It really is a continent open to exporting and importing.

Economic activity is diversifying there. It’s no longer just about the use of natural resources. It’s about converting them. The increasing investment there clearly confirms that all the world’s companies have an interest in going to Africa to trade, work and carry out projects.

This is why I have a firm belief and, at the same time, a wish.

I firmly believe that Africa’s time has come, and my wish is for France to consider that it’s an opportunity, an opportunity for that continent which it loves, an opportunity for itself, because France is one of the African continent’s major partners, and has been for a long time.

Today, our foreign trade with Africa is balanced: €30 billion in exports, €30 billion in imports. We also have a strength that others don’t: French communities that are established in Africa. Ever more French people are going to Africa to work and make their talents known. And we have another strength, namely that there are African communities in France. This gives us mutual understanding, as well as entrepreneurs whom we can train here so that they can then go to Africa or attract capital here, to France, with the desire to work for Africa.

We also have the privilege – and it is one – of welcoming many African students who will tomorrow be the leaders of African companies. (…)
But the very fact that we can be a country that welcomes those students, those African elites, allows us to look to the future with confidence.

A report was commissioned from Hubert Védrine. His conclusions are clear. Looking only at France’s interests, we can put at 200,000 the number of jobs that could be created in France in five years if we doubled our exports to the African continent. So I’m focusing on that target. France must double its trade with Africa. Trade in both directions – exports and imports – because we also want to balance our foreign trade.

This partnership must be founded on three principles if we want to achieve this goal. First principle: “co-localization”. Ensuring that the investment that is going to Africa – throughout French-, English-, Portuguese- and Arab-speaking Africa – can in fact have an effect in France and that there can be some kind of reciprocity.

The second principle is transparency in development aid mechanisms. It’s our responsibility. Transparency in the use of these resources and, at the same time, transparency in calls for tender.

I come back to this, because the presidents have talked to me about it several times. Being a French company doesn’t provide carte blanche. I regret to inform you today that just because a company is French it doesn’t mean it can demand access to the market. It must prove itself, and there are procedures. So I’d like French companies to be exemplary in their projects and in their ability to persuade, so that they can be retained by African countries.

The third principle is long-term commitment. Nothing can be done unless you have a long-term vision. You mustn’t seek an immediate return on what’s been invested. You have to remember that the infrastructure that is going to be created, the technology that is going to be shared and the training that is going to be imparted will bring their results. (…)./.

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