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Francophone Africa at fifty$
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Tony Chafer and Alexander Keese

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089305

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089305.001.0001

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Jacques Foccart, Eminence grise for African affairs

Jacques Foccart, Eminence grise for African affairs

Chapter:
(p.135) 9 Jacques Foccart, Eminence grise for African affairs
Source:
Francophone Africa at fifty
Author(s):

Jean-Pierre Bat

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719089305.003.0010

Jean-Pierre Bat proceeds to the heart of Franco-African networking after the independences of the former colonies, and evaluates the influence of a particular individual who held a major part of the responsibilities for the scandal-ridden realities of French influence in various African countries during the 1960s and 1970s: Jacques Foccart. Charles de Gaulle’s ‘Mr Africa’ did everything possible to create his own legend, and he was the object of attacks and a source of astonishment in his own ranks. Called “Rasputin” and the “grey eminence – éminence grise - of the General”, amongst other nicknames, it is challenging to carve the role of Foccart out of the legend surrounding him. Essential for an understanding of Foccart’s influence is the analysis of his effective control over France’s African policies, combined with his role in, the intelligence services, from the SAC to the SDECE. Bat’s study will thus give a new account of a system largely dominated by one great player, and investigate Foccart’s impact on the Franco-African networks beyond his time as Secretary for African and Malagasy Affairs.

Keywords:   Independence, Franco-African networks, French influence, Jacques Foccart

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