Mahatma Gandhi expressed it well: “If you want to change the world, begin by changing yourself.” Another thinker, no doubt paraphrasing Gandhi, said: “If you want to change the way others look at you, begin by changing yourself.” But let there be no mistake. If the way Africa is regarded and perceived is beginning to change, it is principally because the continent is moving forward. Yes, Africa has begun to change.
Every day, Africa’s creative talents are hitting the headlines. In Cape Town, the voices of the South African opera stars Andiswa Kedama and Pauline Malefane are captivating the public in U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, a Xhosa adaptation of Bizet’s famous opera. In Agadez, Bombino, an internationally acclaimed guitarist, author and composer hailed as the new Jimi Hendrix, is enthralling spectators with his words and music promoting change.
By holding this Franco-African Forum for Shared Growth, we are giving form to our undertaking agreed at the Élysée Summit •1 for Peace and Security in Africa to modernise and boost trade between France and Africa.
We are at the beginning of a huge geopolitical, geo-economic and geostrategic upheaval which was set in motion with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Contrary to what many observers believed at the time, the 21st century will be neither Chinese nor American, but African! The economic growth forecasts for the continent are based on observable, measurable and quantiﬁable facts.
An interview with African Geopolitics — You have announced the creation of a foundation for energy development in Africa. What is your speciﬁc goal? Jean-Louis Borloo — Africa is at a crossroads. Its demographic transition and economic expansion are having an impact on all its neighbours. In this context, Europe’s blindness in relation to Africa’s current energy situation seems particularly astonishing given that we are living in a world where energy is vital. It rules everything! Light attracts and engenders growth and revenues.
What do Africans think about the changing perceptions of their continent, but particularly about the much-vaunted growth that is supposed to lead to emergence? Before responding to this question, it must be emphasised that Africa’s relationship with the world is based on a set of historic landmarks and resentments whose origins lie in Europe. The continent of the former colonial powers still gives the impression of making various attempts to steer the course of Africa’s evolution.
Interview Cécilia Emma Wilson – You left Lomé at the age of eight and you are the nephew of a President. Do you have any memories of your childhood in Togo? Claude Grunitzky – Many! I grew up in a family where politics were discussed a great deal in the 1970s. At the time, my father was involved as he was the Minister of Finance. It was a time of euphoria and optimism in the wake of independence. Everything could be built or envisaged. There was much talk of the rule of law and creativity was at the heart of the discussions. There...
For a decade, Africa, rich in raw materials, with a population primed for consumption, accelerating urbanisation and increasing regional integration, has been attracting the interest of the big emerging powers, headed by China. Of course, there are ancient links between the African continent and the Middle Kingdom, such as the maritime expedition of Admiral Zheng He, at the beginning of the 15th century in the Indian Ocean to the shores of present-day Tanzania.china Africa
An interview with African Geopolitics - What led you to go and discover the faces of the famous “Chinafrica”? Lieve Joris – I wrote three books on the DRC in quick succession: The Leopard’s Dance, The Rebels’ Hour and The High Plains. After my long immersion in the Congo, I was completely exhausted and I felt the need to experience other human adventures and to breathe some different air. Between 2009 and 2012, I spent 18 months travelling between Canton, Shanghai and the towns of the interior in the footsteps of Africans living in China, but...
The scene takes place in one of the luxurious palaces situated on the outskirts of the City State of Dubai, one of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In a vast majliss, a big reception room with Persian carpets with a thick wool pile, the Emir Mohammed ben Rachid Al Maktoum is hosting some hundred journalists from around the world to celebrate the country’s national Independence Day. Amid bokhours (incense) vapour, the ruler of Dubai, who is also Deputy President and Minister of Defence of the UAE, is offering his guests coffee and encouraging them to ask any...