France and Africa: the end of the affair? The view from Senegal

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Links between Senegal and France go back more than three centuries. Senegal was France's oldest colony in black Africa.and the close links between the two countries, that were developed during the colonial period, have continued since political independence in 1960. In this article it is argued that decolonization actually reinforced the ties between Senegal and France, rather than the opposite, but that this special relationship is now changing. The reasons for this are analyzed. Recent efforts by Senegal to diversify its foreign relations, both within and outside Africa, are then examined. President Wade, who won the 2000 presidential election and whose party now controls the government, has sought closer relations, notably with Washington but also with London. As one of the leading promoters of the New Partnership for African Development, Wade has also sought to build stronger links within Africa, notably with the presidents of South Africa and Nigeria. In conclusion, it is suggested that the days of the Franco-Senegalese special relationship appear to be numbered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalSAIS Review of International Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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