In many global political corners, French President Emmanuel Macron is seen as one of Europe’s sobering liberal counterweights to the rightwing nationalist and populist political movements in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. But during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Macron sparked outrage for his comments on Africa.
According to Politico, a reporter from Côte D’Ivoire asked why there has not been a Marshall Plan, an American initiative to rebuild Europe after World War II, for Africa after centuries of colonization.
Marcon replied that the challenge of Africa is “totally different and a lot more profound, it’s civilizational today.” He went on to add that African women having “seven or eight children” contributes to the continent’s problems.
However, Politico said many critics didn’t get the full context of Macron’s statement, adding that he gave a three-minute response that was edited from short clips that circulated online.
The news outlet said he explained what differentiates a reconstruction program, like the Marshall Plan, from a modern country and regional development strategy.
“Macron called for the creation of partnerships as he pointed to challenges like trafficking, corruption, weak states, and the demographic transition,” Politico stated.
Before his election, Macron visited Algeria (a former French colony for 132 years) and called colonialism a “crime against humanity.”
However, many feel that Macron’s recent comments promote racist stereotypes about the continent of 54 countries, and tries to absolve Europe, and particularly France, of responsibility and culpability in creating many of the political, social, and economic problems that plague different parts of Africa today.