Macron’s Africa trip highlights Angola space deal, Gabon forests
French President Emmanuel Macron continues his African tour through Sunday, completing stops in Angola and Congo Brazzaville on Friday as he seeks to reassure leaders of France’s commitment to Africa while acknowledging that the vestiges of the colonial era are forever in the past.
Macron met with his Angolan counterpart, President João Lourenço, to discuss a range of issues including the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Lourenço has led peace talks between Rwanda and the DR Congo. Macron said their deep discussion “fuels hope about achieving concrete results in the coming days for the path to peace.”
Macron also led a delegation of business leaders seeking to strengthen France’s investment in Angola, reportedly at US$35 million in the most recent five-year period. “An unprecedented number of French companies have come alongside me to Luanda to show their interest in getting involved,” he said, specifically referring to agricultural production and educational and training partnerships.
A highlight of the Angola visit is the agreement with France to produce ANGEO-1, an Airbus satellite with applications that will include boosting Angola’s agricultural data, monitoring deforestation, and detecting ships and oil spills.
“Airbus will deliver a latest-generation Earth observation satellite to support Angola’s social and economic development,” said Jean-Marc Nasr, the head of space systems for Airbus.
Macron began his tour in Gabon earlier this week, with an emphasis on climate change and tropical forest protection. At the One Forest Summit in Libreville, Macron called for more global political commitment and funding to help countries that protect their forests on the behalf of all people but bear the costs of doing so.
Image: Airbus/Jean-Marc Nasr