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Focus AFRICA FRANCE Issue dated 21/12/2020

Alexandre Benalla and Kamal Benali fall short of their wheeler-dealer heroes of yore

The businessman-adventurer has long been one of the main characters of the "Françafrique" era. André Guelfi, Pierre Falcone and Vincent Miclet helped to fashion the myth of the deal-maker who could be found in Africa's presidential palaces and the bars of Paris's luxury hotels, setting up multi-million-dollar deals with just a few phone calls. These colourful wheeler-dealers carried with them French interests but, in the globalised Africa of today, those who want to follow in their footsteps are having to resign themselves to a more modest role. [...] (1387 words)
Bernard Kouchner (left) and Kamal Benali (right) during Alpha Condé's presidential inauguration.
Bernard Kouchner (left) and Kamal Benali (right) during Alpha Condé's presidential inauguration. ©Kamal Benali
The businessman-adventurer has long been one of the main characters of the "Françafrique" era. André Guelfi, Pierre Falcone and Vincent Miclet helped to fashion the myth of the deal-maker who could be found in Africa's presidential palaces and the bars of Paris's luxury hotels, setting up multi-million-dollar deals with just a few phone calls. These colourful wheeler-dealers carried with them French interests but, in the globalised Africa of today, those who want to follow in their footsteps are having to resign themselves to a more modest role. [...] (1387 words)
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