Jean-Jacques Cornish

France has a crowded schedule of business with the new Washington administration

Not surprisingly France’s President Emmanuel Macron was among the first world leaders to congratulate Joe Biden on winning the US Presidency.

Paris and Washington have a crowded schedule of business, starting with Biden bringing the United State back into the climate change agreement signed  in the French capital four years ago.

Biden will be an extremely welcome participant at the climate summit in Scotland.

France continues to control the file on this make-or-break issue for the world.

Running close behind welcoming America’s more prominent green agenda , France is looking for increased US support for the initiative to fight Islamist jihadis in the that strip of land between North Africa and the Sahara Desert known as the Sahel.

President Donald Trump has effectively told Macron that this French-led initiative is to Paris’ account.

Washington’s has given $8,5 million to Chad to help it counter ISIS terrorism.

This pales next to the boots on the ground and cash contributed to the G5 comprising Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.

The group was set up in 2014 when Mauritania held the AU presidency.

It has been underpinned by two resolution of the United Nations Security Council.

The world organization has committed 10 000 troops to its anti terror group in the region known as MINUSMA.

France has put its muscle where its mouth is with 3 000 troops from Operation Barkhane .

France stepped into drive out the Islamists who took advantage of a 2012  coup in Mali.

Things have become vary complicated since then and France could do with help form a fellow permanent Western member of the UN powerhouse.

Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, installed in 2012, was unseated in another coup last August which led to Bah Ndaw becoming become the interim president.

Further confusing things, Amadou Toumani Tourè, who led Mali for a decade during which he introduced democratic reforms before he deposed in the 2012 putsch, died in Turkey this week.

It will be impressed on Biden that Germany has provided 900 troops to the Sahel operation and the European Union  has chipped in 50million euros.

Even the cash-strapped African Union has contributed $3 million.

The world is waiting on the new administration in Washington.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.