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Acronyms that contain the term françafrique 

What does françafrique mean? This page is about the various possible meanings of the acronym, abbreviation, shorthand or slang term: françafrique.

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What does françafrique mean?

In international relations, Françafrique (French pronunciation: ​[fʁɑ̃safʁik]) is France’s sphere of influence (or pré carré in French, meaning backyard) over its former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa. The term was derived from the expression France-Afrique, which was used by the first President of Ivory Coast, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, in 1955 to describe his country's close ties with France. It was later renamed Françafrique by François-Xavier Verschave in 1998 to criticise the alleged corrupt and clandestine activities of various Franco-African political, economic and military networks.Following the decolonisation of its West African colonies, beginning in 1959, France continued to maintain a sphere of influence in Africa, which was critical to then President Charles de Gaulle's vision of France as a global power (or grandeur in French) and as a bulwark to British and American influence in a post-colonial world. The United States supported France's continuing presence in Africa to prevent the region from falling under Soviet influence during the Cold War. France kept close political, economic, military and cultural ties with it former African colonies that were multi-layered, involving institutional, semi-institutional and informal levels.Françafrique has been characterised by several features that emerged during the Cold War, the first of which was the African cell, a group that comprised the French President and his close advisors who made policy decisions on Africa, often in close collaboration with powerful business networks and the French secret service. Another feature was the franc zone, a currency union that pegged the currencies of most francophone African countries to the French franc. Françafrique was also based, in large part, on the concept of coopération, which was implemented through a series of cooperation accords that allowed France to establish close political, economic, military and cultural ties with its former African colonies. France also saw itself as a guarantor of stability in the region and therefore adopted an interventionist policy in Africa, resulting in military interventions that averaged once a year from 1960 to the mid-1990s. Finally, a central feature of Françafrique were the personal networks that underpinned the informal, family-like relationships between French and African leaders. These networks often lacked oversight and scrutinity, which led to corruption and state racketeering.After the Cold War, the Françafrique regime has weakened over the years due to France's budgetary constraints, greater public scrutiny at home, the deaths of pivotal Françafrique actors (Foccart, Mitterrand, Pasqua and members of Elf) and the integration of France into the European Union. Economic liberalisation, high indebtedness and political instability of the former African colonies have reduced their political and economic attractiveness, leading France to adopt a more pragmatic and hard-nose approach to its African relations.

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