The Democratic Association of French People Abroad (ADFE), also known as French of the World, which for 40 years has brought together French people living outside of France, held its general assembly in Abidjan. 20 to 25,000 French people reside in Côte d’Ivoire. On the eve of the presidential election, many are expressing concern about the risks of socio-political unrest, while some are already heavily penalized by the economic consequences of the health crisis.
Jackie Bertho has been based in Ivory Coast for 40 years. The president of the association Français du monde notes a concern of the French community regarding the political tensions that are reborn. We can indeed hear the worried French,” she confirms. They are worried because we have already experienced the events of 2000, 2003-2004, the events of 2010-2011, they do not want to lose their property and also their turnover».
For Franck Emmanuel Calderat, manager of two restaurants in Abidjan, a political crisis would worsen an already very difficult situation because of the anti-Covid measures that have hit the restaurant sector hard. But beyond his business, he shares Ivorians’ fears for the future of the country: “When we hear the staff, when we hear people in the streets, when we hear people around us in the markets, everyone is very worried about this situation. I ask everyone to put a little water in their wine and find a solution to save this country».
Invited to this general assembly, the French senator Jean-Yves Leconte (PS, senator representing the French outside of France) hears these concerns, but wishes to reassure: “We have to watch out. It’s true that when we compare the situation in Guinea on the one hand or in Mali on the other, we tell ourselves that for the moment there are other places where we have good reason to be much more worried».