Burkina Faso: President Macron kick-start first African tour

By on November 27, 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron has chosen Burkina Faso as the starting point of his first African tour since taking power.
The French leader is expected today Monday in Burkina Faso, the first visit by a French top leader in the West African country since the ouster of former autocratic leader Blaise Campaoré kicked out three years ago by a revolution.
The former Burkina Faso leader who is currently in exile in Cote d’Ivoire was seen by citizens of the country and millions on the African continent as Paris’s strong man in the region.
Macron’s entourage suggests that the French leader’s trip is meant to break with past and set new bonds between France and the continent through new initiatives oriented towards economy, youth entrepreneurship, education, sports and renewable energy instead of aid.
The climax of his stay will be a keynote address at Université Ouagadougou where he will be addressing Tuesday questions of around 800 students.
Several issues remain solved between the two countries. Supporters of former President Thomas Sankara want Paris to shed light the assassination of the iconic leader who is believed killed by exiled Campaoré.
Ouagadougou has also requested the extradition of Francois Campaoré, the younger brother of the leader, on an international arrest warrant for the assassination of a prominent journalist in 1998.
France has strong military presence in the region and in the country given growing security concern in the Sahel region.
Groups and associations opposed to the French influence have planned protests to demonstrate against the looting of natural resources by French companies, the presence of French military and the maintenance of CFA franc deemed to be a colonial currency by many Francophone Africans.
President Macron after his Burkina Faso stop will head to Cote d’Ivoire to attend the EU-Africa summit on 29-30 and later set sails on Ghana as his final stop.

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