The essentials: On Monday, French President Macron hosted his five Sahelian counterparts in the French town of Pau. In the run-up to the summit, Macron found harsh words for the anti-French protests in those same countries, threatening to pull out French troops fighting Islamists in the Sahel. In December, he also announced together with Ivorian President Ouattara that the West African CFA would transition to a new currency called Eco, signaling a less prominent role of France in African monetary policy. → Read the rest “What is France up to in its former colonies?”
The essentials: Foreign Ministers of Nigeria, Niger and the Republic of Benin met in Abuja last week to discuss issues around Nigeria’s partial border closure. The delegates agreed to a joint border task force to combat smuggling.
The context: Nigeria’s August border closure continues to be an inconvenience for its eastern and western neighbours, Benin and Niger. → Read the rest “Nigeria, Niger, Benin to form joint border patrol team”