French president, Emmanuel Macron is visiting Cameroon on his first trip to Africa since his re-election last April. The visit also includes Benin and Guinea-Bissau.
The visit comes at a time when France is undertaking to “renovate” its military partnerships on the continent to maintain its strategic competition in the face of increasing influence by Turkey, China and Russia.
Cameroonian banker Ndzomo Essomba Henri, said that France is coming to Cameroon to warm up its relations and strengthen its support when we know the strategic role that Cameroon plays in Central Africa.
Food crisis and security top the agenda with the effects of the war in Ukraine in the supply of grain being a major concern; many also want human rights to feature prominently in the discussions between Macron and the Cameroonian president, Paul Byia.
Cameroon has been riven by ethnic violence and an insurgency by anglophone separatists. Some would like the French president to meet with members of the opposition.
On Wednesday, Macron will travel to Benin, followed by Guinea-Bissau on Thursday, whose President Umaro Sissoco Embalo is preparing to take the helm of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).