France’s image in Africa deteriorating every year: Survey
A new survey confirms that France’s image across Africa continues deteriorate, while Turkey and some Middle Eastern countries are steadily rising in popularity.
The Africaleads survey is conducted each year among African “opinion leaders”.
Etienne Giros, deputy president of the Conseil Français des Investisseurs en Afrique (CIAN), which in English is the French Council of Investors in Africa, commissioned the IMMAR research institute to carry out the third edition of its Africaleads opinion poll, the results of which were officially presented at the Africa Forum on March 18.
“We have a problem. France is very present in Africa, we have a long-standing relationship which is simultaneously sentimental, cultural, military, economic, diplomatic … We are one of the leading countries in terms of development aid, the companies we represent achieve €60bn in turnover in Africa, and yet our image is deteriorating every year. We should seriously ask ourselves why.”
Since 2018, more than 2,400 “opinion leaders” from over 12 African countries – which represent half of the continent’s population – have been questioned on the situation of the continent itself, the image they have of the main foreign countries present.
The list of people interviewed include politicians, business leaders, artists, intellectuals, athletes and religious leaders. And because CIAN brings together companies based in France, this country’s image is particularly scrutinized.
The conclusion is clear: France is going backwards.
This year, France’s image dropped down to 7th place and fell to 17%. France is now just ahead of Turkey, which is at 15%.
African nations that suffered under French colonial rule still remember France's colonial- era crimes, despite the passage of decades since their independence from Paris.
A new report by historians reveals that France bears “overwhelming responsibilities” over the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that killed about 800,000 people and was indirectly complicit in the massacres.
The presence of terrorist groups in Africa has also been an excuse for global powers to re-enter these countries. This was seen in the French military intervention in Mali and the US military campaign in Somalia.