France’s President Emmanuel Macron began a tour of Central Africa on Wednesday in a diplomatic drive to test a new “responsible relationship” with the continent as anti-French sentiment runs high in some former colonies.
He landed in Gabon’s capital Libreville on Wednesday and will later head to Angola, Congo-Brazzaville and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Macron’s trip comes as alarm grows in Paris over Russia’s rising influence in French-speaking African countries, joining China, which has been present in the region for some years.
In a speech on France’s Africa policy on Monday, Macron called for a “mutual and responsible relationship” with the continent of more than 50 countries, including on climate issues.
He reiterated a pledge to break with former post-colonial policies.