French President Emmanuel Macron will host a Franco-African ‘summit’ conference in Montpellier on Friday, to which he has not invited a single African head of state. He, therefore, calls it “a new, unusual African-French summit”.
According to the government, it is “an international meeting of size”. The meeting will be held in the Sud de France Arena, just outside the city and invited are young African entrepreneurs, activists, politicians, athletes, artists academics and artists.
French presidents have held nearly 30 summits with their counterparts from the former French territories since 1973. It is now the first time that they are not there. The summits were often attended by leaders who remained in power for decades or appeared shortly after or shortly before a coup.
Macron wants to “reinvent the whole relationship (with Africa)” in Montpellier, according to the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With the new approach, according to French media, Macron immediately prevents him from appearing in painful photos with controversial dictators like his predecessors. An additional advantage is that several unpleasant issues do not have to be discussed. Paris is currently having problems with a number of African countries, including Algeria and Mali, and there has just been a coup d’état in Guinea.