In East Africa, Macron called to place the environment at the heart of the economy

En Afrique de l'Est, Macron appelle à placer l'environnement au cœur de l'économie

Advocacy for the climate, alternative to chinese investment, academic partnerships: Emmanuel Macron has defended Africa Is the unique place that France wants to occupy in this region being courted by the major powers.

At the end of a three-day journey that led him to Djibouti, Addis Ababa and Nairobi, the French president has co-chaired, Thursday, the “One Planet Summit” and called to place the environment at the heart of economic choices.

His commitment to the climate goes hand in hand with the promise of “respectful partnerships” with the countries of the region, in contrast to those who would threaten the sovereignty of the States. A critical chinese investment on a large scale in East Africa.

China finance large infrastructure projects, obtaining in return a preponderant influence in the future equipment, and even the ability to eventually take control of ports, railways, motorways, etc.

“It’s a good thing that China participates in the development of many countries, but I believe in the spirit of balance, of reciprocity. The balances assume the respect of the sovereignty of peoples,” warned cautiously the head of State, or ten days of the visit in France of chinese president Xi Jinping.

On Thursday, he formulated a new attack veiled in the “One Planet Summit”, taking the coal-fired power plants built by China in Africa : “All those who tell you that it is necessary in large networks, centralized, large power plants to coal, is lying to you and leads you to the worst, this is not the right model for energy in Africa”.

– ‘Cultural diplomacy’ –

The French president has also announced the conclusion of trade agreements, and cultural, as in Kenya, for the first State visit by a French president in this country, the economic powerhouse of East Africa.

In Nairobi, he announced including a contract of 1.6 billion euros over 30 years to the French group Vinci to build and operate a highway to the north of the capital, as well as a project of shuttle between the city centre and the airport.

Military side, Tuesday to Djibouti, on one of the shipping routes, the most popular in the world, Mr. Macron has visited the most important French base abroad which he emphasized the strategic importance.

In Ethiopia, he promised to fund and support the work of protection of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a jewel threatened world heritage site. A model of the “cultural diplomacy that I believe in,” said Mr Macron.

He also announced a framework agreement of defense with the Ethiopia, in particular for the establishment of a navy in this country who do not have access to the sea and spoke of the sales of Airbus in this country-a grief-stricken by the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX on Sunday, now banished from the sky world.

The French president also stressed on Thursday, during an exchange at the University of Nairobi, on the importance of academic partnerships to establish long-term trade between France and Africa. Even involving a partnership between Science Po and the university in kenya Strathmore and the implementation in Kenya of the school of video games Rubika.

“I do not believe in the camp of the desperate or the camp of the cynics. I am in the camp of the determined. It is necessary to place them at the heart of the market economy instead of the environment and of biodiversity”, has finally launched Mr. Macron at the closing of the “One Planet Summit, which has mobilized large companies and institutions, and he co-chaired with his counterpart of kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.

It has announced an increase in the French contribution to the projects of the Alliance international Solar and, while he is accused in France of a lack of ambition ecological, promised aid to the mobility in the Hexagon.

“The fight against climate change is to change habits. It is very complicated to change a habit, people will hate it”, he smiled, a wink to the movement of the “yellow vests” born from the contestation of the taxes on the fuel.