THE NEWS SEEN BY. Every Saturday, “Jeune Afrique” invites a personality to decipher a topical subject. Interviewed in partnership with RFI, French economist Thomas Piketty delivers his analysis on the Africa-France relationship, the planned end of the CFA franc and climate issues.
What would France have been without its colonies? Impossible to say, but in his latest book, A brief history of inequalities (Threshold, 2021), Thomas Piketty, known worldwide for his work on inequalities, shows how important their contribution was to building its power. Engaged on the left, the economist, director of studies at EHESS and holder of a chair at the Paris School of Economics, goes back in time to highlight, with supporting facts and figures, the progress achieved – mainly in the 20th century – in the area of social justice. A story that must continue, he insists.
A great guest of the RFI / Jeune Afrique economy this Saturday, the economist, often summoned in the media to share his analysis of the French and European situations, takes a step aside and deciphers the challenges of North-South relations on the eve of the summit of Montpellier, where Emmanuel Macron will address the youth of the continent.
Jeune Afrique: At the end of next week, Montpellier will host a new Africa-France summit. Do you share the criticisms of some Africans who accuse Paris of continuing to favor its interests in its relationship with the continent?
Thomas Piketty: Yes. I believe that, in general, France – even if it is not necessarily the worst – the Western countries, the countries of the North, show immense hypocrisy towards Africa. And generally speaking, they tend to organize the world economic system according to center-periphery relationships. They will use peripheral areas in order to access certain resources and then hold a discourse on aid that does not correspond at all to reality, if we consider the relationship between outgoing and incoming flows in these countries.