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Françafrique at 50

DAKAR – This month, Africa’s Francophone countries will mark the 50th anniversary of their independence, and of the ties they maintain with France. But is there much to celebrate?

Even before French President Charles de Gaulle took office in 1958, he foresaw the wave of revolutionary nationalism that would soon sweep across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. As French president, he sought to circumvent that tide by proposing to the leaders of France’s African colonies a negotiated settlement for independence.