SOURCE: RFI NEWS
Article published the Sunday 30 May 2010 -
Leaders of 40 African countries are gathering in the southern French city of Nice for the 25th Africa-France summit. France has dubbed the two-day gathering “the summit of renewal” as Paris tries to prove it is moving on from its uneasy colonial past.
This will be President Nicolas Sarkozy’s first Africa summit and he has already moved to make his mark. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will co-chair the event when it opens on Monday.
It is designed in the form of three mini-summits. The first, on Africa’s role in global governance, is moderated by President Paul Biya of Cameroon. The second will be on peace and security and chaired by South African President Jacob Zuma, and the third, on climate change and sustainable development, is led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
Some 250 business executives and rights and civil society group leaders from around Africa and France are already here to attend a series of related workshops organised on the sidelines of the summit.
Over the past three years, Sarkozy has cut down French military bases in Africa and reviewed the defence accords that helped keep several African dictators in power.
But he has to repair misunderstandings arising from his Dakar speech about Africans missing out on progress and deliver on his promise to cast the demons of clientelism, which, critics say, is persued at the expense of human rights and democracy in Africa.