Colonialism was a ‘grave mistake’, says French President
Monday, 23 December 2019
French President Emmanuel Macron said colonialism was “a serious error” during a press conference in Abidjan.
He was accompanied by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.
“Too often today France is seen as having a hegemonic and distorted view of colonialism, which was a grave mistake, a serious error,” he said. He added he wanted to “turn over a new page.”
“I am part of a generation that was not involved in colonialism. The African continent is still young. Three-quarters of your country never knew colonialism,” president Macron reminded those present.
“Sometimes young people blame France for the troubles and difficulties they have experienced, which France can do nothing about. So, I know, we (France) are sometimes the target, it’s easier (…) When it’s difficult, we say ‘it’s France,'” he continued.
Macron concluded by hoping that “this young Africa agrees to build with a new France a partnership of friendship (…) much more fruitful.
In February 2017, Macron, then-presidential candidate, declared on an Algerian channel that “Colonisation is part of French history. It is a crime against humanity”. “It is inadmissible to glorify colonisation,” he said, adding that he “has always condemned it. His statements had created a polemic in France.