Journalist and writer by profession, Marc Aicardi de Saint-Paul is the Consul of Burkina in Nice (France) for four years. He is author of numerous books on Africa, including one on our country (from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso Tradition and modernity in the Country of Men integrity) published in 1993. 18 years after his first visit to Burkina Faso, he remains convinced that if the country is not a "geological scandal," he wealth equally important: its men and women.
Born into a family located on the African continent for several generations, I have since my youth been educated about the future of Africa. My studies, and later my research as a reporter and writer, led me across the continent. During the 70s and 80s, the cold war raged and many new states have been tempted by the revolutionary model, which is supposed to end the most glaring inequalities and neocolonialism. But the end of the East West and the mistakes of leaders too radical contributed to the emergence of leaders at once more realistic, more democratic and better managers.
Being used to cover much of the continent's crises, I had come to despair of Africa and his son's ability to live in peace. Returning to South Africa, where the specter of civil war was the most likely scenario, my friend John Guion, whose passion for the continent is at least equal to mine, telephoned me and said: " You who go all the time in Africa, why do not you accompany me in Burkina Faso? "And I remember answering him:" But in Burkina Faso, nothing happens, insinuating, nothing serious, no riots, no famine, nothing that would interest the reader. " And that's how I found myself with John Guion, aboard a plane bound for UTA Ouagadougou, there are over 18 years.
The evening of our arrival, the President and Madame Chantal Compaore invited us into their home without protocol and we got acquainted. I, who even then had interviewed many political leaders around the world, had been struck by the simplicity, availability and an outspoken head of state who had just come to power. I was immediately captivated by his speech, his plans and ambitions for both Burkina Faso and Africa.
Attracted by the personality of the President, attracted by the country and its people, so I decided to write a book that would focus on Burkina Faso. While the country is not a "geological scandal" as Zaire, but he has a wealth at least as important: its men and women who populate it.
Since this first visit, I had to make dozens of trips to the "Land of Upright Men" and write many articles on the subject. I followed every step of the transformation of this country that has, through the impetus of the Head of State and his staff, a new impetus in the development of the country. Many sites, literally and figuratively have been completed: the infrastructure, the fight for literacy, for the promotion of women against female circumcision, that is a great capital Ouagadougou African culture and especially to democracy and civil peace are firmly and permanently entrenched in this country.
While problems remain, but they often have external causes in Burkina Faso: the situation and the return of Ivorian nationals, rates artificially low cotton or drought. But that progress in two decades: at the domestic level, Burkina continues to grow and it is both the "darling" of the IMF and NGOs as its President, Blaise Compaore, he became a respected regional leader, and a mediator listened to none, including the conflicts that seem intractable.
Having been appointed Consul of Burkina Faso in Nice for four years now, I could see how the image of the "Land of Upright Men" was flattering. It is also not a coincidence that more than 30 associations are mobilizing, not only in the Maritime Alps and the Principality of Monaco for the country. The Franco-African summit held in Cannes in February 2007 was also an opportunity to assess how local officials, deputies, senators, mayors and councilors, Burkina Faso and saw what a welcome they gave to the President Faso was the most African president interviewed by the media present at Cannes. As for the Burkinabe community residing in France, it is perfectly integrated, hardworking and honored his country of origin.
For my part, I can only congratulate myself for having agreed to represent Burkina Faso, which, under the leadership of its President, Blaise Compaore made this state a model for West Africa as a whole.
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