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Paris Pays Africa for Using French as Official Language, Expert Says

© AFP 2023 / JOEL SAGETThis photograph taken on March 13, 2023, shows the Eiffel tower (L) and the dome of the Pantheon (R) in Paris
This photograph taken on March 13, 2023, shows the Eiffel tower (L) and the dome of the Pantheon (R) in Paris - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2023
France has repeatedly been accused of interfering in the domestic affairs of its former colonies, experts and observers note. In addition to that, Professor Apollinaire Selezilo says that Paris also uses money as a tool to maintain its influence in its former French-speaking colonies.
Paris pays appropriations from its budget to French-speaking African countries in order that they use French as their official language, Bangui State University professor Apollinaire Selezilo told Sputnik.
According to Selezilo, France does so to maintain its clout in Africa.

"Most often, French-speaking countries of Africa receive budgetary aid from France in exchange for using French as an official language," said the professor.

He believes France "imposes its culture, maintains its influence, and has control over French-speaking countries."

"A number of African countries has come to the conclusion that it is necessary to mix the French culture imported during the age of colonialism with the national culture so that an incentive for intellectual, economic, and social development appears," Selezilo stated.

The professor also noted that African countries have to bolster their strength, in particular with help of "their cultural legacy, which has been forgone for ages."
However, according to observers, the French language is not the only tool Paris uses to maintain control over its former colonies.
A displaced woman walks with a kettle Monday Feb. 8, 2021 in the Kaya camp, 100 kms North of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.02.2023
Cameroonian Bishop: France Has Affairs of Former African Colonies 'in Iron Grip'
Earlier, Michael Bibi, Bishop of the Cameroonian diocese of Buea located in Cameroon's southwest, blamed Western countries for their neo-colonial attitude towards African nations.
He pointed to the fact that France uses "a complicated network of financial economic policies and political control through the threat of regime change and their military presence to maintain the status quo."
Bibi also described the Francophonie as an instrument in the hands of Paris to interfere in African affairs.

"Another major instrument used by the players, especially the former colonial masters, is the formation of associations ostensibly to celebrate the same culture," he stressed.

Moreover, Algiers excoriated actions by Paris last month to "exfiltrate" an Algerian citizen sentenced to prison in Algeria as "violation of national sovereignty by diplomatic, consular, and security staff."
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