African leaders flying to Paris to discuss peace but business, China and Russia may be on the table

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon is an investigative journalist and publisher of TODAY NEWS AFRICA L.L.C. based in Washington, District of Columbia, U.S.A. His twitter handle is @simonateba and his email is simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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African leaders are flying out again, this time for the French capital, Paris, officially to discuss peace with other world leaders, but business and politics would not be far away.

Dozens of African heads of state and government announced early Monday they were on their way to attend the Paris Peace Forum with President Emmanuel Macron of France.

The three day forum starts on 11 November and ends on 13 November 2019.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi is expected to deliver opening ceremony remarks Tuesday as the Paris Peace Forum kicks off.

The issues to be discussed would be ranging from climate change to security, and stolen art to good governance principles.

African leaders have been flying out a lot. Just days ago, they were in Saudi Arabia for an economic forum. The Saudi gathering came just weeks after the Russia-Africa economic summit in Sochi.

That one came after a similar forum in Japan and elsewhere. All these high profile meetings outside the African continent where African leaders are either exclusively invited or along with others have prompted many to argue that there was a big scramble for Africa from the super powers.

President Paul Biya of Cameroon’s office told TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA in a statement the long serving leader would be in attendance.

For the African continent, political instability, including the volatile situation in Guinea where President Alpha Conde is trying to cling to power would certainly be discussed.

Other security issues such as terrorism, banditry and the spread of small arms would certainly come up.

But for France, its biggest threat in Africa is neither Boko Haram, nor the spread of small weapons or climate change, but the influence being acquired by China, Russia, Japan and the rest.

On the sidelines of the forum, President Emmanuel Macron would certainly try to woo African leaders that France remains their best friend despise taking billions of dollars from them every year via its central bank.

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