Africa Notes: The Enduring French Connection - January 1987
January 26, 1987
Although de Gaulle's late 1950s dream of reshaping France's colonial empire into a Paris-centered communauté of nations did not win enough converts to become a reality, the predicted withering of French influence in Africa has not occurred. Through an intricate web of governmental and private sector relationships -political, military, economic, cultural France in 1987 retains a "special relationship" with the continent unparalleled by any other non-African nation. (See "France and Africa, 1982" by Alex Rondos in CSIS Africa Notes no. 6, December 20, 1982.) The thirteenth French-African summit, held November 14-15, 1986 in Lome, Togo, illustrates the elements of continuity, adaptability, and innovation that have characterized the connection under a sequence of French governments over the past quarter century.