Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.
France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, visited Africa for the first time as head of state on Friday, traveling to northern Mali, where France led an intervention to drive out Islamist extremists in 2013. Greeted by Mali’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in the northern city of Gao, where French troops are still stationed, Macron offered a vision largely in line with what he espoused during the campaign: tough talk on terrorism and an emphasis on the need for development so that extremist groups are less attractive to potential recruits.
“France is determined to stay by your side completely, and without fail,” Macron said. In a message on Twitter, he declared that, “Anything done on the ground would be short-lived if we were not committed to investing in infrastructure or education.”