Africa is Francophonie's hope, says French official

Paris- France (PANA) -- The African continent can definitely be in the forefront of the Francophone's economic space if it took advantage of its immense potential, said Michel Roussin, vice president of the Movement of France's Enterprises (MEDEF).
Speaking in an interview with PANA, Roussin, a former French Co- operation minister, was positive and enthusiastic in his assertion on the issue.
"If we want Francophonie to be lively and attract the new generations, we must help Africa develop its economic advantages.
France's survival depends on that struggle", the official said.
Francophonie will not have a decisive role unless it helps create adequate conditions in Africa likely to attract foreign enterprises and capitals.
"Africa must be encouraged in this direction, for it surely represents a hope for Francophonie given its demographic dynamism", Roussin added.
To reach that goal, Africans and the countries of the Francophonie economic space must apply themselves to change the continent's negative image.
"Africa suffers from a poor image which nurtures the idea of mischance and failure.
The international community is more demanding towards the continent than the regions.
Entrepreneurs apparently wait for everything to go full swing before investing in the continent", he added.
According to Roussin, "this is an unfair indictment.
Africa has achieved many successes that only need to be revealed".
First and foremost, African people themselves must correct their continent's poor image by setting up fair and open decision making spheres.
"Business people do not fear risks but they dread vagueness.
This means that to succeed openly, nothing is more appropriate than to set up the rule of the law on a daily basis through durable laws which guarantee enough transparency for all," said Roussin.
As for education, MEDEF vice president suggested the French government to increase its aid to vocational training.
"Suppose we transfer one third of the yearly budget of the Foreign ministry to scholarships granted to foreigners, it would be possible to create in Africa vocational training programmes along with the enterprises.
Hence we would create more job opportunities and more enterprises in these countries, and boost the orders of our products, etc.
," he said.
"We must redefine the objectives of co-operation in terms of education because, many scholarships are granted for non- enterprise-oriented programmes.
And if so, the students will just come up with post-graduate (DESS) or Master's degrees which are not adapted to markets such as those in Africa", he added.

09 january 2002 23:21:00




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