French president Emmanuel Macron visited Lagos, Nigeria, this week in order to put his stamp on both the country’s political and cultural scene.
Macron spent several months interning at the French Embassy in the capital of Abuja in the 90s, and seemed quite excited to return. This will be his eighth visit to the region since becoming president, which he kicked off with an African Nations summit in Mauritania. While there, he reinforced his commitment to help African nations fight terrorism through defensive maneuvering and social development in talks with African leaders. France’s Development Agency has already invested 40€ million in projects throughout Africa, something that speaks to Macron’s post-colonial attitude about France’s southern neighbors.
Macron also visited the nightclub Shrine, which was designed by musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti, in an apparent effort to connect to young Africans. He gave a speech to young Nigerians where he encouraged them to remain in Africa and build the future they want to see, instead of leaving for Europe as soon as they are able. Macron’s visit was jam-packed, but it is clear that migration is on his mind, and that his plans for his presidency reach far outside the scope of France.