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Mixed reactions trail French President Emmanuel Macron’s Statement on Africa’s Problem being “Civilisational”



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.

Some are of the opinion though that his speech was not racist.


  1. Nuna

    July 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I struggle to find the upsetting thing he said. Everything he said is what WE all have always known. Why are people angry?

    • mua

      July 11, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      The truth is bitter.

    • Wale Vintage

      July 11, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      I too did not see anything wrong in what he said. He was being frank. The only thing I want is it since European countries help create the African problem in the first place by forcibly merging in most cases, incompatible cultures and peoples together, they should devise a plan to help separate us clinically and then fund the take off and restructuring of the new economies that would result from the new countries.

    • Fleur

      July 11, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Because they cannot look themselves in the mirror and acknowledge their flaws. We are fighting civilization type issues. The islamists want us pack to the times of Prophet Mohammed. Women are birthing 10 kids because in some instances they dont know who will survive, in a few other instances, they dont have access to birth control, and in other circumstances they are so poor that sex is the only source of endorphins. The brain needs endorphins to not go crazy. Also, we have refused to achieve good governance for ourselves. Even where the oyinbo man built and operated such infrastructure, once we step in it collapses.

    • artklub

      July 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      @ Wale – I do not believe that we should be asking our exploiters for help. You are asking our exploiter to help us onto our feet? Waiting on our savior to help since we are too immature and uncivilized to get it together ourself? We already know what is wrong. These guys are the people that enable and support corrupt and evil governments across Africa and the world. They destabilize countries for their own advantage. When Macron talks about helping solve any African problem best believe it involves European interest first. Europe and America do not need more competition from Africa, they already have to deal with China and India as emerging, so its better to keep Africa in the dark. The only reason why they are shouting now is because karma is biting them in the a** with refugees and immigrant population 🙂 We need to grow up. If we cannot face our enemies within and clean up our houses when we beg for alms (which is what asking for their help is) we will get even more trash!

    • Dame

      July 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      WALAHI…i really tried to find fault….none

    • Manny

      July 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      He may have some valid points but I have a problem with his facts. The fact that he was briefed that the average woman in Mali or Niger has 7 or 8 children does’t mean he should extrapolate that fact to the whole of Africa. I went to StatCompiler and pulled the fertility rate for countries in Africa. It ranges from 2.9 in SA to 7.6 in Niger.
      When the leader of France says this, it trickles down to the people and translates into disdain for ALL African women. The next time you travel to France and someone makes a snark comment to you, a mother of 2, about your numerous children, are you going to start explaining hmmmm hmmmm but I am not among?

    • Wale Vintage

      July 11, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      @artklub-I get your point, but before we can move forward,especially in black Africa we need to restore some homogeneity at least to some level. Our situation is so super complex. For instance,if we regrouped by ethnicity I believe most of the problem would have been resolved, then we can begin looking inwards to internal dialogue and solutions. But you are very correct the Europeans and of course more recently the americans(mainly ‘cos of their own security strategy) have been throwing spanners in our wheel of progress and I know they help instigate or engineer most of it. I am told if we remove the Greeks from the Nigeria equation then perhaps we would be able to resolve the electricity problem. Don’t ask mi o…I heard there is a Greek cabal colluding with a former past HOS from Niger state that prefer we stay in darkness for their own greed. If we had a “Yoruba Country” that issue would have been resolved a long time ago. Yorubas believe in progress-just like other ethnic groups with their unique strengths.

    • X

      July 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      A lot is upsetting about it..coming from the head of a country that takes money from its colonies every year…since the 60s

  2. Bella

    July 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    So the transformation plan that we have to conduct together must be developed according to African interests by and with African leaders..
    I rest my case – which part of this is racism again? Haaa my people, you all have a hard time hearing the truth, biko!!

    • Fleur

      July 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      And some are probably annoyed that he is proposing a new paradigm that does not include just funneling aid money to corrupt leaders and institutions. That is their daily bread.

  3. Bolaji

    July 11, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Protest for protest sake. People should be charged for posting tweets. If you had to pay before posting, you will really think about it.

  4. Jess

    July 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I had to read this twice to be sure I didn’t miss anything. He made valid points,there is nothing racists. He used the word”civilizational” and went ahead to explain what he means. Why are we reading other meaning to his word.


    July 11, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    People just like to create problems where there are none. Busy distracting us from the real issues all in the name of having an opinion. Some are even trying to make it a sexist thing; where did he blame African women for the problems in Africa?

    Everything this man said is pure fact. However I worry that this is all a waste of time, the African leaders seem to be in #unbothered mode perpetually. Ours has been absent for almost 70 days, all his people care about is holding on to power for purely selfish reasons; reassuring supposed weaker animals that the supposed lion king will return so that they can gloat over the shame of jackals and hyenas. Pathetic bunch of jokers, lending credence and power to Biafran agitators at such a sensitive time.

    So ndi G20 y’all shouldn’t waste your time on us, focus countries that are serious about their people, growth and development.

  6. Ayo

    July 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    He said the truth. There is nothing racist about the fact that having more children than you can comfortably care for is the norm in Africa. It’s our responsibility to fix our issues. He said soo many things why are people picking one phrase out of context

  7. .Ladybird

    July 11, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    How dare he?! does he know that several Francophone African countries are absurdly and still paying tax to France? does he not realize that the West’s neoliberal policies and meddling greatly affect Africa’s ability to grow economically and in every other way like the West? While I believe that many African countries should practice family planning, that isn’t primarily responsible for our continent’s stagnant growth.

    “We among the West have been discussing such Marshall plans for Africa for many years and have in fact given many such plans already”— I believe this is precisely what the problem is…”YOU “discussing what and how Africa should be—— somewhere and somehow such plans always end up in the interests and to the advantage of western countries. This is why I do not pay attention to the so called liberal globalists claiming to fight for human right, black rights,female rights and other trending issues of the day.Oh by the way has Belgium “FORMALLY” apologized for its role in the Congolese genocide??Participating in the murder of the country’s first democratically chosen president??— The repercussions are felt in Congo today and do you all know that in schools, Belgians are not taught about the atrocities of the past. Teaching people about this dark past in history is very important so that there will be fairness when referring to African countries.

  8. Anon

    July 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Nothing wrong here.

  9. LemmeRant

    July 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    This is the problem I have with all this twitter dimwits. Put them on a stand, and ask them to defend their points (tweets) and they’ll fail blatantly.

    Macron said so many things, yet the moment they heard women, they brain went on reset. Continue to make a fool of yourselves online.

  10. tunmi

    July 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Yes he said good things
    Yes that bit about women with 7 or 8 kids is a problem. Because THE MEN WHO GET THEM KNOCKED UP are not included. “Families” would have been better, “a need for family planning” would be great.

    • ogeAdiro

      July 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      When it comes to abortion, will you also include ‘THE MEN WHO GET THEM KNOCKED UP?’

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      July 11, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      He rubbed me the wrong way with that bit about women with 7-8 kids…. but from a different perspective.

      The West, in general, needs to stop holding everyone else in the world up to their standard of “civilisation”. Yes, he made good points that I can get behind…. but this part of his statement – “a successful demographic transition when countries today have 7-8 children per woman” was very unnecessary. All he needed to have stated was the problem of having more children than you can afford to feed – and note that some families can afford to feed 7. Others living below the poverty line can’t even afford to feed one. So don’t just use a broad brush to paint all of Africa as lacking civilisation simply based on the size of our families in general – he sounds like an imperialist jerk.

      When China decided it was going to force families to have 1 child reach, the West screamed blue murder and human rights violations. Here in the bloody UK, many single and dual parents living on benefits, are having way more children than they can afford to feed (heck, the adults in the equation won’t be able to feed themselves without the dole) and guess whose taxes are stepping into that income gap? Is Britain uncivilised for that reason? It’s incredibly supercilious to say one of the reasons Africa is “uncivilised” is because of the size of our families.

      I don’t blame him, since we can’t clean up our own backyard so have to wait with outstretched palms to take money from these people. He should grow large enough balls to say something similar to the Saudis, berating them for having families comprising of 4 wives (which is 3 wives too many for the so-called Western civilised standard).

      …. but as we never see food chop for Africa, any one wey im talk, we shall endure the words and the accompanying spit which lands on our faces as long as it brings an IMF cheque in the end.

    • tunmi

      July 11, 2017 at 6:50 pm


    • ogeAdiro

      July 11, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Mz Socially Awkward… you’re right. It’s not his fault. Onye ogaziri nwe mba! He’s free to say whatever he wants; we’re the ones asking for their largesse. The question was actually quite annoying.

  11. courage

    July 11, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    On point!!! he made no mistakes

  12. bolintin

    July 11, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    He made a lot of sense, rather than read and get sentimental read for a better understanding of the system and contribute your own quote to help solve it

    However this statement broke my heart “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”.

    Why does it have to be the international community trying to solve our problem like we were so vulnerable. It’s really disheartening that our leaders don’t even analysis African issues enough (if at all) to enable them comprehend our critical state.

    Please let us start raising the next generation to take responsibility for our nations and its people by starting to inculcate the appropriate values in them. Stop the vanity chase, develop your children intellectually, politically, technologically, physiologically etc .

    For example: those that will become doctors let them be the ones to improve IVF to a 9 month (stimulation to birth) assisted process, find unprecedented prevention and cures for life threatening diseases; let the engineers amongst them be grounded enough for innovative technologies (development generators that can run on water); the make up artist should grow to be able to use local materials for lipsticks and eye shadows. Hairdressers to be able to make our hair products locally etc.

    In short let the next generation be the changer makers that Africa has been waiting for.

    • artklub

      July 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      dear we don’t have leaders…

  13. Funsho

    July 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Africa can like to form victims and we get upset when people tell us the truth about our problems

  14. nene

    July 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    this is nothing but the truth

  15. privacyplease

    July 11, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Not the best choice of words, but NO lies were told. African women need access to free birth control. China became the super power that it is in one generation by limiting each couple to one child.

  16. Moniker

    July 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Where we are supposed to channel our anger, we won’t. A young man who is probably younger than these agitation is making sense… Instead of them to cover their heads in shame, they are picking faults in the truth he’s saying.
    Africa has been a sinkhole since time immemorial. But should we keep blaming the West for doing what was best for them?
    Let’s keep being online warriors for nothing. Their nations are better off without us. Are we without them?

  17. Bisi

    July 12, 2017 at 5:24 am

    French President is absolutely correct but here in Africa due to civilisation problem caused by poor intelligence , we always lie to ourselves .. French President really blasted this truth no need sugarcoating !!

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