Affaires africaines by Pierre Péan

By Pierre Péan

Depuis les débuts de los angeles Ve République, l'Afrique noire a été l'objet d'une recognition très particulière des hauts dirigeants français qui l'ont incluse dans leur " domaine réservé ", sous le contrôle tutélaire et direct de l'Elysée: du Secrétariat aux Affaires africaines et malgaches de Jacques Foccart, sous de Gaulle, jusqu'à ses équivalents actuels.

Nombre d'" affaires " ont révélé, au fil des ans, le caractère hassle, aventureux et parfois compromettant des kin entre Paris et certains gouvernants de ses anciennes colonies. " Diamants ", barbouzes, mercenaires, putsches, safaris, sacres impériaux, votes des " Français de l'étranger ", affaires du S.A.C., financement des partis politiques, trafics d'influences, pots de vin et prébendes: l'accent fut alors souvent mis sur des cas de corruption, des excès de potentats locaux _ plus rarement sur les véritables intérêts en reason, les réseaux et groupes de pression, les jeux d'influences réciproques, l'intrication croissante de los angeles politique franco-africaine des gouvernements successifs et de leurs préoccupations de politique intérieure...

Un cas résume à lui seul toute l'ampleur et l'ambiguïté de ces kinfolk d'" interdépendance ": le Gabon, petit émirat équatorial gorgé de pétrole et d'autres ressources stratégiques. l. a. minutieuse enquête menée par Pierre Péan à partir de cette plaque-tournante des enjeux franco-africains révèle que convinced néocolonialisme risque de n'être plus aujourd'hui à sens specific, et que l. a. politique de Paris n'est pas à l'abri des pressions de lobbies ou de chantages aux renversements d'alliances...

Chronique d'un quart de siècle de kin franco-africaines, ce livre ne constitue pas un mince chapitre de l'histoire secrète de l. a. Ve République.

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Kangundo village in Machakos District had a population of 54,147 people with 10,163 households at the 1979 census. The density was 406 people per sq. 2 hectares per person. The population is still increasing, with people concentrating on more productive areas of land living on hillsides and suffering Tropical Africa 36 from chronic seasonal food shortages. Holdings are getting Smaller, cultivation is more intensive and there is much unemployment. Many people are now landless and, with no space to rear cattle, the lack of manure has resulted in the land losing its fertility.

But there is a danger that in such a small country tourism could easily swamp the local economy and society and cause an increase in theft, begging and prostitution. Tourism at present only affects a small proportion of Gambia’s land and people, and for over 75 per cent of the population traditional forms of agriculture and pastoralism provide their main livelihood. In much of rural Gambia methods of food and livestock production have probably changed very little over hundreds of years. Relative to the tourists, many of the local people are very poor indeed.

Cash obtained from groundnut sales is a key element in most families’ income, and any change in the price paid for groundnuts can have widespread repercussions in rural communities. In the late 1980s groundnuts accounted for 80 per cent of domestic exports, about 60 per cent of total crop land and contributed around 35 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), though this figure has gradually declined in recent years due to the increasing importance of manufacturing, commerce and particularly tourism.

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