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France Seeks New, Equitable and balanced Partnerships with African Nations

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louis Buyisiwe

Apr 6, 2024

Balanced partnerships' with Africa

Kenya, a vital economic hub in East Africa, has witnessed a substantial increase in French business operations, from 50 to 140 companies over the past decade. Despite this growth, a trade imbalance favoring France has prompted calls for equitable economic engagement. "Addressing this imbalance is a priority, and we are committed to collaborative efforts to achieve a more balanced trade relationship," Mudavadi remarked, highlighting the 34,000 jobs created by French firms in Kenya.
French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne

In a significant pivot towards Africa, France, through its Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne, announced plans for forging "balanced partnerships" with African countries, emphasizing mutual benefits and respect. This declaration came during Sejourne's inaugural African tour, starting in Kenya, with subsequent visits planned for Rwanda and Ivory Coast.


Amidst the backdrop of shifting dynamics in Franco-African relations and the growing influence of global powers like Russia and China on the continent, France's strategy aims to rejuvenate its connections with former colonies. "Our objective is clear: to establish partnerships that respect mutual interests and contribute positively to the African nations we engage with," Sejourne stated during a press event with Kenyan Foreign Minister Musalia Mudavadi.

Highlighting Africa's burgeoning role on the global stage, Sejourne tagged the continent as a focal point of French foreign policy. He noted,

"Africa's ascendancy as a cultural, economic, and diplomatic heavyweight underscores its significance in the international arena."

Kenya, a vital economic hub in East Africa, has witnessed a substantial increase in French business operations, from 50 to 140 companies over the past decade. Despite this growth, a trade imbalance favoring France has prompted calls for equitable economic engagement.

"Addressing this imbalance is a priority, and we are committed to collaborative efforts to achieve a more balanced trade relationship,"Mudavadi remarked, highlighting the 34,000 jobs created by French firms in Kenya.

The ministers also outlined cooperative initiatives in sports and transport infrastructure and advocated for a revamped global climate financing framework to support developing countries in sustainable development and climate adaptation.


In a notable move, France and Kenya, alongside Barbados, spearheaded a coalition at COP28 aimed at establishing an international tax to fund climate action in developing nations.


As Sejourne moves to Rwanda for the 30th anniversary commemorations of the 1994 genocide, this tour marks a pivotal moment in France's diplomatic outreach to Africa, underscoring a commitment to constructive and equitable international relations.

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