French President Emmanuel Macron has angered some social media users after he said that the problems Africa face are “civilisational,” adding that its women have “7 or 8 children.”
He said this at the G20 summit, after a reporter from Cote d’Ivoire asked him a question about how much the G20 countries are willing to commit to Africa.
He said the problems with Africa are failed states; multiple trafficking issues for drugs, humans and weapons; infrastructure, education and health.
Here’s a translation by a Reddit user:
Reporter from Ivory Coast:
The G20 have discussed the issue of poverty in Africa. We know that the Mashall plan in Europe cost 150 billion of today’s dollars. Concretely, how much are the G20 countries willing to commit to Africa today and what is France’s position on the matter?
I don’t believe in this reasoning, forgive me for my directness. We among the West have been discussing such Marshall plans for Africa for many years and have in fact given many such plans already. So if it was so simple it would be fixed already. The Marshall plan was a reconstruction plan, a material plan in a region that already had its equilibriums, its borders and its stability. The problems Africa face are completely different and are much different and are “civilizational.” What are the problems? Failed states, complex democratic transitions and extremely difficult demographic transitions. Multiple trafficking routes that pose severe issues – drugs, human trafficking, weapons. Violent fundamentalism and islamic terrorism. All of these create major issues in a region that at the same time has some examples of excellent growth that prove the continent is a land of opportunity. So if we want a serious answer to African issues and African problems, we must develop a series of politics that are much more sophisticated that a simple Marshall plan or money transfer, which we agree with the world bank on. The matters of vital infrastructure, education, health – there are roles for financing and it is our responsibility to help on these issues. In terms of security, we must help by linking with regional African stability instruments which France is currently engaging in with the sahel nations. Development, security – and there is also a shared responsibility. Such a Mashall plan as you desire is also a plan that will be administered by African governments and regional blocs. It’s by a more rigorous governance, a fight against corruption, a fight for good governance, a successful demographic transition when countries today have 7 or 8 children per woman. As of today, spending billions of dollars outright would stabilize nothing. So the transformation plan that we have to conduct together must be developed according to African interests by and with African leaders. It must be a plan that must take into account the issues I’ve described, using public private partnerships, and must be conducted on a regional and sometimes even national basis.
Social media users have termed his views racist, particularly the part where he says the problems are “civilizational” and the women having multiple births.
Macron says Africa's problems are "civilizational" and blames women with "7 or 8" kids. A repugnant speech.
— joe prince (@joeprince___) July 10, 2017
Neoliberal centrist "resistance" Macron uses racist colonialist rhetoric for Africa, just like Hillary Clinton didhttps://t.co/5EldqTFVSz
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) July 10, 2017
Basically Macron said to blame the black woman for Africa's problems and I'm sick. Gonna go take a nap. Y'all keep swooning if you want to.
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) July 10, 2017
— Snarls de Gaulle (@LevzOfGrass) July 10, 2017
Some are of the opinion though that his speech was not racist.
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) July 10, 2017
Macron fans are apoplectic about this but what exactly is wrong about what he said? Access to contraception is a crucial issue for Africa. https://t.co/RrHijq92du
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) July 10, 2017
Never thought I'd say I agree with Macron but he's on point here. Africa NEEDS birth control. Planned parenthood should be working there.
— Ben Lechter (@therealflexter) July 10, 2017
For all the idiots triggered by Macron pointing out Africa's overpopulation problem.
By the way, 40% of sub Saharan Africa lives in poverty. pic.twitter.com/pAyeVBFMwV
— eazy (@eazyonme) July 11, 2017