Wednesday, January 22, 2020

In Cameroon, the Chinese give Macron sleepless nights

Since China set its sights on Africa, the traditional partners of the States are obliged to review their economic policies with regard to the countries of the continent.

This is the case of Cameroon, whose multiple resources have attracted the appetite of descendants of Mao who have little regard for human rights violations in which the country of Paul Biya has become champion for several decades. 

As Cameroon's leading economic partner, France sees its interests threatened by the arrival of new competitors who spend without counting. And so as not to lose this prestigious place offered to it by the "old Lion" France has reviewed its development aid for the country. 

According to surveys by Chief Scott Ticknor, "Cameroon is the biggest beneficiary of French foreign aid in Africa". 

This aid is materialized by the “Debt reduction and development contract of France” (C2D) which provides Cameroon with more than 537 million euros (768 million dollars) in five years, drawn from the funds converted from the relief HIPC debt, focusing on infrastructure, health, education, agriculture and the environment.

An approach which undoubtedly aims not to leave the field open to Beijing which has already acquired more than 100,000 hectare of agricultural land in Cameroon with a view to producing mainly rice. 

Although it has been present in Cameroon for decades, France is seriously challenged by China, which invests in all areas of country life. This situation pushes Paris to be much more flexible with regard to Yaoundé on the political level. The loss a few weeks ago of the container terminal of the port of Douala by the wealthy French businessman Vincent Bolloré, is only the illustration of this change of which we spoke above. 

A Cameroonian observer estimated that French aid has become more aggressively linked to commercial interests and to fighting against a growing Chinese presence.