June 1, 2011

How France Lost Africa to the U.S.

G. Pascal Zachary, The Atlantic

AP Photo

In the scandalous case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French IMF chief currently held in New York facing attempted rape charges, the powerful issues of race and gender easily overwhelm one curious geopolitical detail: what's a woman from a French-speaking, former French colony in West Africa doing in the U.S. in the first place? In this case, she is from Guinea, but she could just as likely be from Senegal, Cameroon, Rwanda, Gabon, or Benin -- all Francophone countries that once sent their most ambitious immigrants almost exclusively to France. Now these and other French-speaking African countries experience a steady outflow people to the U.S.

The presence of a growing number of French-speaking Africans reflects a monumental shift in the relationship of...

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TAGGED: United States, France, Benin, Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Gabon, Cameroon, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, New York, International Monetary Fund, Chief , West Africa

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