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An Important Lesson For China at Macron’s Contentious Africa-France Summit

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during the plenary session of the "Africa-France Summit" gathering some 3000 Africa continent entrepreneurs, artists or sporting figures in Montpellier, southern France, on October 8, 2021. Ludovic MARIN / AFP

11 young people from across Africa sat on stage alongside Emmanuel Macron on Friday (photo) and directly confronted the French President with their frustrations regarding France’s centuries of history on the continent.

It was incredible to watch these young people fearlessly challenge President Macron one after another. They demanded that he acknowledge France’s colonial atrocities and abandon what they characterized as Paris’s “arrogant” policies. “Stop this paternalistic talk! We’re going to help you… NO!” declared Malian activist Adam Dicko in one of the more heated exchanges of the summit. “We don’t need aid, we need cooperation, we need partners,” she said to rousing applause from the audience.

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