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Published on 03 July 2017

Who are Macron's African line-up?

Emmanuel Macron and Macky Sall at the Elysee Palace on June 12

Staying very hush-hush on the matter during his campaign, Emmanuel Macron has showed a clear leaning towards all things African since winning the French presidency in early May. Shortly after coming into power, he met with a number of the continent's heads of state (Alassane Ouattara, Macky Sall, Alpha Conde, Mohammed VI, and others), some more than once. The new tenant in the Elysee Palace has already travelled to Mali twice. First to Goa on May 19 to take stock of the Barkhane operation, and then to Bamako yesterday, July 2, to attend the extraordinary G5 Sahel summit. This new pan-African structure is an anti-terrorism force made up of member states Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania.

While terrorism remains a priority for Africa, Macron is careful to not leave business out of the equation. For instance, he has been keeping a close eye on an urban train project in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, a contract for which Bouygues and Keolis are in the running.

Macron has a number of influential intermediaries across the continent, and was able to use them to his advantage during his electoral campaign. He can also count on ties forged during his time at the ministry of the economy between 2014 and 2016, as well as a number of fellow ENA graduates, including his African advisor, Franck Paris. After working for Rothschild, Macron has stayed in contact with the Benin's former prime minister Lionel Zinsou, whom he met at the merchant bank. Zinsou recently stepped onto the board of Terra Nova, the think tank close to the French head of state.

This Africa Intelligence special report provides insight into who are the men and women behind the scenes, both in France and Africa, shaping Macron's African policy.

The entire special report (14 articles) may be accessed by subscribers or e-wallet users

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