Brazil and francophone Africa
Brazil and francophone Africa: Opportunities and Challenges
This paper examines how francophone Africa perceives Brazil’s ambitions in light of the current and past economic, political and diplomatic relationships. It analyzes the shared history of francophone Africa and Brazil, from Lula’s offensive on Africa to Rousseff’s initiatives, and takes a historical look at the emigration of Afro-Brazilians back to Dahomey and other West African countries. It addresses geopolitical interests and opportunities common to both Brazil and francophone Africa, and how South-South cooperation is constructed to defend both counterparts’ interests. It also highlights the deteriorating relationship between France and francophone Africa, to give the reader a sense of the opening spaces and the convulsions of the system called “Françafrique”. Finally, it analyses the economic potential of francophone Africa as a whole, and how Brazil is taking advantage (or not) of the space created by the steady withdrawal of France and the extent to which Brazil is competing with BRICS.