Gunboat and Debt Diplomacy: Harsh Choices for Africa

Published on 22nd March 2019

Luigi Di Maio, the Italian ambassador to France has been critical of France for  fueling Africa-Europe migration and impoverishing some Africa states by manipulating the economies of 14 African nations among them Mali, Niger, Cameroon and the Central African Republic using the CFA franc, a colonial-era currency which has a fixed exchange rate to the Euro. The Envoy also appeals to policy makers in Europe not to enact policies that impoverish Africa.

Luigi Di Maio´s comments come at a time when Africa is facing the double threat of gunboat and debt diplomacy. With many suitors courting Africa, the continent is at a critical juncture. African governments are deliberately being lured into pacts by international players keen on miring the continent in debt in order to gain economic and geopolitical control of Africa. Some developed countries have shunned conventional diplomatic negotiations and adopted military force to coerce weaker African nations to dance to their tune.

It is with this in mind that Inter Region Economic Network will hold a forum with the theme: Gunboat and Debt Diplomacy: Harsh Choices for Africa this April to discuss how Africa should navigate this reality. If Africa does not become strategic, the continent is bound to be the playing field of every Tom, Dick and Harry.

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