French President Emmanuel Macron is due to start a five-day trip to Africa on Wednesday, with stops in Gabon, Angola, Congo and Congo-Brazzaville, the Élysée Palace announced.
Macron plans to attend a UNESCO conference on the protection of forests, the One Forest Summit in Gabon’s capital Libreville.
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The president also plans to open a new French embassy in the city.
In Angola, the main topic for discussion is expected to be cooperation in the agricultural sector.
This should increase the country’s security of supply and help farmers there to prepare for climate change.
In the two Congo republics, the focus is expected to be on cultivating relations with France.
Macron’s trip to Africa came at a time when France, as a former colonial power, is coming under pressure in several African countries.
Anti-French resentment is being expressed, for example, in the countries of the Sahel, where France has troops stationed in the fight against terrorism.
Russia is also trying to gain influence in the region with the help of the mercenary force Wagner.
On Monday, before the start of his trip, Macron announced the withdrawal of more soldiers from Africa.
“The troop strength is to be visibly reduced.”
Macron also held out the prospect of a law for the return of looted art.