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25
April
2022

AU applauds Macron on re-election as French President

African Union (AU) on Monday sent a congratulatory message to Emmanuel Macron on his re-election as French President.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat tweeted: “I extend my warm congratulations to President Emmanuel Macron on his re-election.

“I’m happy to continue our commitment with him to build renewed and mutually beneficial relations between Africa and France and more broadly with Europe,’’ Mahamat said.

For his part, Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno,in a statement, described Macron’s re-election as feat that “crystallizes a crowning achievement of his domestic political action and his international commitment”. 

French incumbent President Macron won the 2022 presidential runoff with 58.54 per cent of the votes while his rival, Marine Le Pen, gained 41.46 per cent of the votes, according to the preliminary results released Sunday night by the French Interior Ministry.

In 2017, Macron and Le Pen also competed for the presidency in a runoff, during which Macron was elected with 66.1 per cent of the votes.

During his first term, Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to dust off the relationship between France, a former colonial power, and the continent, addressing particularly the youth, especially during the speech of Ouagadougou in November 2017 where he had promised a break in French policy in Africa.

In October 2021, entrepreneurs, artists, sportsmen – but no heads of state – were invited to Montpellier (south) for a meeting between African, French and diaspora civil societies, on economic, cultural and political topics.

The French presidency said at the time that it wanted to “get out of formulas and obsolete networks”. In short, to break, again and again, with “Françafrique”, its opaque practices and its networks of influence.

In February, against a backdrop of anti-French sentiment and at the end of a long crisis, France and its European partners made official their military withdrawal from Mali, which has seen two coups since August 2020.

That same month, the head of state called for a “new alliance” between Europe and Africa, on the eve of a European Union-African Union summit in Brussels, and as criticism and denunciation of France’s action in the Sahel grew in Africa.

For now, there will be celebration for surviving a scare and big opposition but Macron in the next five years faces the task of reuniting his country politically and strengthening relations with Africa.

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