President Emmanuel Macron says he was born after the end of colonialism and wants that to dictate policy, but is it just lip service?
A few months after he was elected, French President Emmanuel Macron marked his first Africa tour in 2017 to convince Africans to turn a new page after the dark chapters of France’s colonial history in Africa.
“I am like you,” young President Macron said to young students who filled the small hall at the University of Ouagadougou in former French colony Burkina Faso.
“I am like you from the generation that never knew Africa as a colonised continent,” he said while youth protested the French President outside, chanting “Down with new-colonialism”.
Four years on, as Macron visits the Rwandan capital Kigali on Thursday, this time Rwandans, including genocide survivors, listened closely to his speech at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, the final resting place for over 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide.
“Standing here today, with humility and respect, by your side, I have come to recognise our responsibilities,” Macron said, asking for forgiveness from the victims of the genocide.
Macron’s speech fell short of an apology. Genocide survivors said they regretted the lack of ‘clear apology’ from Macron.