France was the second largest colonial empire between the 19th and the 20th century and still has to this day 16 colonies scattered across the world.
Macron made the statement in a joint press conference with the Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
“Today, France is usually perceived [as having] a look of hegemony and tinsels of colonialism, which was a profound error, a mistake of the [French] Republic,” said the French president. In his speech, Macron called for “building a new page” between France and its former African colonies.
“I belong to a generation which is not that of colonization,” he added.
“Sometimes, young people blame France for the troubles and difficulties they may have experienced and that France can do nothing about,” Macron continued. France is “sometimes the perfect target” to blame for several issues.
Macron concluded with a note of hope, saying that he would like to see that “this young Africa agrees to build a much more fruitful friendship partnership…. with a new France.”
The French president is on an official visit to Cote d’Ivoire that started on Friday, December 20, and ends today, December 22, to discuss relations between the two countries and several issues shaping the region of West Africa.