« Where none of my friends has gone before | Main | The great socialist scramble for Africa »

May 17, 2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hello I am from Niger and I just read your blog , about my country , but i live in New york City , I have a blog myself that s viewed by thousands who are concerned about Niger worlwide
It s called http://www.niger1.com
May i ask you why would you ve interested in Niger case , did you live there, Have you been there once ?
I know a lot of about the uranium case if you go on myblog you will read bout the ceasefire
If you want to meet for a byte in an African restaurant and discuss further about Niger in NYC email me at niger1.com@gmail.com
just read http://www.niger1.com

Hello, Niger! I'm writing a case on Areva, the French nuclear company, and putting together an MBA course on the business and politics of energy. Hence, my interest in the country and its odd relationship with France. Unfortunately, I haven't visited Niger yet, but I have a reputation among my colleagues for adventure research, and have every intention of seeing the mines up-close as soon as I can.

What do you do in New York?

What do you mean by a formal French Empire?

The 5th Republic on the Sahara? Or the way the actual empire was run?

The actual empire, post Loi Cadre, which I suppose you could call "the Fifth Republic on the Sahara."

De Gaulle appears to have wrapped up the Community for two reasons. (1) The U.N. had created a norm of absolute juridical sovereignty that made it hard to justify a halfway house like the Community. (2) There wasn't much benefit to maintaining it, when all the benefits could be obtained from a combination of "cooperation treaties," informal links between the African elites and the French bureaucracy, and muscle. Plus, annoying parts of an informal empire could be written off at no political cost, something harder to do with a formal one.

So let's say they didn't run down the flag for whatever reason but left the mushy and confused Community in place as a juridical entity. Would much be different? There's a case that the answer is "no." Maybe you'd have a couple of battalions of French troops out on the frontier with the Tuareg instead of a small 15-advisor cadre, and maybe aid flows would be a bit higher. Or maybe not --- over the past five years, Niger received $113 million per year in French ODA money; in 1950-55 it received only $14,000 in FIDES funds, and that's before inflation.

So what would be different? Access to French courts? Hell, if the French had been more beneficient they could have kept that after the tricolor came down. After all, that's what Britain did in the Caribbean.

It looks and quacks a lot like the dying days of the French Community. I'm not sure much would be different if there Niger was merely an autonomous part of the French Community rather than an independent state.

No? I often miss obvious things in these speculations.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Categories