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Socialist Party presidential hopeful, François Hollande
Reuters / Robert Pratta
Socialist candidate François Hollande says he intends to completely re-shape France’s relationship with Africa, and hopes France will engage more with the continent’s democratic and French-speaking countries.
Interviewed in Afrique magazine he said that there should be greater civil and economic co operation with Paris, but that there was no longer any need for a military presence in Africa, except to protect French citizens.
Hollande said that the French military intervention to Abidjan to help dislodge former president Laurent Gbagbo had been necessary, but that as far as possible the African Union should be involved in such interventions.
And he lamented the reduction in aid to Africa, as priority is now given to loans to emerging economies, with the result that France is no longer so prominent in Francophone Africa. “Incontestably, this must change,” said Hollande.
Hollande proposed an annual debate in parliament, in order to decide how many economic migrants can come to France, after consultation with employers to establish where work is available.