Over 250 African and French business leaders rubbed shoulders with African heads-of-state in Nice on Monday, as the 25th France-Africa summit, which for the first time will focus on both trade and politics, got under way.
On Monday, over 250 business leaders from Africa and France joined 38 African heads-of-state in the French Riviera city of Nice for the 25th annual France-Africa summit. In a break with the past, this year's summit will focus on trade between France and the continent, rather than solely on political ties.
France has been frequently criticized for ignoring human rights violations in its former African colonies and propping up autocratic leaders in its quest for business privileges in the resource-rich continent.
In recent months, Sarkozy has attempted to mend France’s tense relations with Rwanda following the 1994 genocide. During a landmark trip to Kigali in March, Sarkozy said France would do everything possible to ensure that "all those responsible for the genocide are found and punished." Diplomatic relations between France and Rwanda were restored last year, three years after Kigali severed ties with Paris.
But critics say that 50 years after several African nations gained independence from France, not much has changed in the country's relationship with its former colonies.
Date created : 2010-05-31