The Empire that does not want to die, a history of Françafrique


In Paris, we hear the same refrain everywhere: “Françafrique is dead and buried!” Yet, from Ouagadougou to Libreville, from Dakar to Yaoundé, from Bamako to Abidjan, the youth are revolting against what they perceive as a French stranglehold on their destiny.

Fifteen years after World War II, France officially granted independence to its former African colonies. A trompe l’oeil freedom. In reality, Paris perpetuated the French Empire in another form: Françafrique. A system that combines official, assumed, claimed mechanisms (military, monetary, diplomatic, cultural, etc.), and shadow logics, unofficial, often criminal. A system erected against the interests of the people, with the consent of part of the African elites and which always benefits the African autocrats “friends of France”. A system that all French presidents have allowed to prosper, despite the promises of “rupture”.

Exceptional in scope, unprecedented in content, this work traces this little-known history, from the colonial origins of Françafrique to its most recent developments. Written by recognized specialists – researchers, journalists or associative activists – the contributions collected in this book show that the French-African system, far from disintegrating, continues to adapt in order to endure.


Editions du Seuil

Release Date: October 7, 2021