From March 1 to 5, Emmanuel Macron will travel to Gabon, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville and the DRC. A mini-tour which is organized while France has lost a lot of influence in Africa.
In less than a week, French President Emmanuel Macron will begin a short tour of Africa which will take him to the Congo Basin, but also to Angola. At a time when France is tossed about on the African continent, it's time for the tenant of the Élysée to try to show that he still matters. To avoid the fiasco, Emmanuel Macron has chosen a subject that should not put him in difficulty, since he will participate in the One Forest Summit in Libreville, Gabon, on March 1 and 2.
This summit "devoted to the preservation and enhancement of the forests of the Congo River Basin", announced at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh by Emmanuel Macron and Ali Bongo, is an opportunity for France to show that it is still present alongside Gabon, even though the small French-speaking country turned to the Commonwealth these last months. And the environment seems to be a fairly unifying theme for Emmanuel Macron not to be heckled.
As soon as the summit is over, the French president will then travel to Angola. A trip that shows how badly France is on board in French-speaking Africa. The Head of State is therefore heading for the Portuguese-speaking part of the continent. In Luanda, he will finalize an agricultural production partnership between France and Angola. A way for Paris to diversify its partnerships.
Countering Foreign Influences
Then Emmanuel Macron will return to the Congo Basin. In Brazzaville this time, where he will meet Denis Sassou N'Guesso. The latter has given, in recent days, a river interview at Le Point in which he insists on the fact that "France's relationship with Africa must evolve". This visit to Brazzaville will look like a simple courtesy visit, the French president responding to an invitation from "DSN" that he had invited several times to Paris.
The highlight of Macron's tour will be his visit, then, to Kinshasa. The French president will cross the river to deepen "the Franco-Congolese relationship in the fields of education, health, research, culture and defense" with his counterpart Félix Tshisekedi.
This presidential trip will be of paramount importance for Emmanuel Macron. The French president has promised to consolidate his relations with Africa for his second term. Last July, he made a tour of Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau. Since then, the Élysée has tried to reconnect with Algeria and Macron went on a trip to Abdelmadjid Tebboune last August.
Emmanuel Macron then hoped to complete the Franco-Moroccan reconciliation at the very beginning of the year. But this one will finally take longer than expected, the French president having failed to travel to Rabat as planned. While waiting to move forward in this sensitive file, Emmanuel Macron is therefore launching another mini-tour. Which looks like a reconquest operation.