Summoned. Italy’s ambassador to France is in hot water. The Italian envoy has been summoned by France after its Deputy Prime-Minister ignited the ire of France after accusing it of thriving only because it continues to exploit Africa’s coffers.

France, said Italian Deputy Prime-Minister, is an economic colonizer, reliant on Africa to regularly hit its enviable Number 6 spot in the list of the world’s top economies – as opposed to a much lower list on the economic ladder – which is where it would live  – without Africa’s colonized benevolence.

Italy further accuses France of failing to end colonialism of tens of African states.

This is an interesting clash between these two titan Western European nations.

The tension between Italy and France emerges after Italy’s Five Star and League parties came to power in June 2018. And while leaders in the two governments seek to smooth over the row and soothe rattled national egos, there is a deeper issue here.

Italy is of course right. France’s economic ‘relationship’ with Francophone African nations continues.

Fifty-seven years after independence, France maintains and secures access to economies in its 14 ‘former’ African colonies. The benefits to France are commercial wealth, access to resources and markets. There is monetary benefit via the currency – CFAfranc, the ongoing exploitation of rich natural resources and an ongoing military presence.  This is not a mutually beneficial relationship; it is not one that exists between equals.

France and its ongoing economic colonization of African nations is a major issue, not a weapon to stoke political fires between Western European nations about migration, but a lingering stain on a colonial history that powerfully shapes and detrimentally impacts the economic fortunes of these African nations and their peoples.

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