French president Macron visits African Union headquarters in Ethiopia

French president Macron visits African Union headquarters in Ethiopia

French president Macron visits African Union headquarters in Ethiopia

Written by Reuters

13 Mar, 2019 | 3:51 pm

Reuters: French president Emmanuel Macron met with the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, in Addis Ababa on Wednesday (March 13), as he continued his visit to East Africa.

Ethiopia and France agreed their first military cooperation accord on Tuesday (March 12), a deal that includes helping the landlocked nation build a navy, as Paris seeks to boost economic ties in Africa’s second-most populous country.

On a four-day visit to the Horn of Africa, President Emmanuel Macron is looking to break from France’s colonial history on the continent and nurture relationships in a region where it has lagged behind in recent years.

Macron wants to leverage a mixture of Paris’ soft power in culture and education and its military know-how to give it a foothold at a time when Ethiopia is opening up.

The African Union, headquartered in Addis Ababa, counts 51 members and works towards closer political integration among African countries. It also promotes investment in the continent and sends peacekeepers to troublespots.

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