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The Shadow Of Colonialism: How France exerts influence in Africa today

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The Shadow Of Colonialism: How France exerts influence in Africa today

While France granted independence to its African colonies, its influence over these nations remains strong, often shaping their destinies through puppet local leaders.

There are 20 such former colonies in Africa, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.

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France’s historical rule indirectly assimilated these countries into its culture and lifestyle. Unfortunately, many of these nations never achieved full independence due to colonial pacts signed before their liberation.

These pacts continue to undermine their development and sovereignty in several ways:

Language Dominance: France requires African countries to adopt French as their official language and for their education systems, overseen by France’s foreign minister, sidelining indigenous languages.

Colonial Tax: Former French colonies in Africa pay a colonial tax to France for infrastructure built during colonialism. The debt’s size fluctuates based on the country and its infrastructure growth.

Control Over National Reserves: France maintains control over former colonies’ national reserves by mandating that they deposit their monetary reserves with France’s central bank. More than 80% is held in “operations accounts” managed by the French Treasury, with limited accessibility, and even interest fees for withdrawals exceeding 15%.

Resource Rights: France retains the first right to use and buy natural resources found in its former colonies. These nations cannot sell their resources to other countries before France.

Economic Dominance: French interests and firms receive priority in these countries. France owns significant economic assets in colonies like Côte d’Ivoire, including essential infrastructure.

Military Control: France claims exclusive rights to offer military equipment and training to African military commanders, with the ability to intervene militarily in African countries and station soldiers on their bases indefinitely, based on defense agreements related to the Colonial Pact.

Currency Dependency: Former French colonies are obliged to use the colonial currency FCFA, known as the CFA franc. This not only depletes the wealth of African nations but also contributes approximately $500 billion annually to the French treasury.

This lingering influence demonstrates how the legacy of colonialism continues to shape the destinies of these African nations.

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