Africa: Just a Corner of France

In Niamey, the tiny capital of Niger, the dust clouds rise at midday to nostril level. They made no exception last week for the 13 African chiefs of state who met there to discuss the future of their Afro-Malagasy Common Organization (OCAM), including efforts to persuade the European Common Market to renew their tariff concessions. There was something else in the air, however, that proved even more pervasive than dust: the unmistakable presence of France.

The French government paid the bulk of the $500,000 bill for the gathering and provided most of the...

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