France’s colonial past is impeding the economic growth of Caribbean nations as President Emmanuel Macron has announced his intention to end the Cotonou and Post-Cotonou agreements. Cotonou and Post-Cotonou agreements were established to promote economic development, eradicate poverty, and promote peace and security in African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries.
The French President believes that the agreements are outdated and that north-south relations need to be revitalized. Instead, he has proposed a new global financing summit, signaling France’s desire for fresh initiatives.
France is a Toxic Ex
However, the underlying reason for France’s opposition to these agreements seems to stem from its colonial mindset. France may not want its former colonies to sit at the same table as it, given its history of exploitation and domination in the region.
For the Caribbean nations, the Cotonou Agreement held significant importance. The agreements provided a framework for trade and economic cooperation between the Caribbean and the European Union (EU). The Cotonou and Post-Cotonou agreements allowed Caribbean countries to export their goods to the EU on preferential terms, which has helped to support their economies and create jobs.
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Through the agreements, the EU was intended to provide funding and technical assistance to help Caribbean countries to address development challenges, such as poverty reduction, climate change, and disaster management.
The decision to end the Cotonou and Post-Cotonou agreements is therefore a significant setback for Caribbean nations seeking to establish themselves as players in the global economy. It demonstrates the ongoing influence of colonialism on contemporary politics, as former colonial powers continue to exert control over the economic and political development of their former colonies.
It is time for France to acknowledge the harm caused by its colonial legacy and work to promote the economic development and self-determination of Caribbean nations. Ending the Cotonou and Post-Cotonou agreements without providing viable alternatives only serves to reinforce the power dynamics of the past and further entrench the economic inequality that has characterized the region for far too long.
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