Coming from at least 12 countries on the continent, young Africans have expressed their expectations and their frustrations on democracy and the relationship with France, during an unprecedented summit in Montpellier that prioritized the word of civil society.
They come from Burkina Faso, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco… and they have a lot to say to France, concerning the colonial heritage, the visa policy or development aid. From the opening of the summit on Friday morning, to which some 3,000 people were invited, the round table “Citizen Engagement and Democracy” attracted many spectators and speakers.
“We hope that Montpellier will be a new beginning. Let us listen to the African field, the African youth, it has things to say to the world and to France,” said Bakary Sambe, director of the Timbuktu Institute.
No head of state of the continent has been invited to this summit, which is held in a delicate context while the influence of France in its former pre-square is increasingly disputed, particularly by Russia, and Paris is in open crisis with two of its former colonies, Mali and Algeria.