Many of the two dozen African presidents arrived in Paris this week expecting another talk shop.
That is the way of multilateral diplomacy: the host builds up a meeting and then hopes to hold it together well enough to give the pre-determined final communique some credibility.
What it actually achieves needs time to ascertain.
In that respect the France Africa summit on rebuilding economies buffeted by the COVID pandemic could be seen as a success.
We have Senegalese President Macky Sale saying at the conclusion that there has to be a paradigm change in the the relationship between African nations and their donor countries euphemistically referred to as development partners.
Solutions to problems cannot be imposed by the latter. They must be co-constructed because Africans best know the problems they face.
Rhetoric? Of course. But something refreshingly different.
We also have Felix Tshisikedi, the Congolese President who currently occupies the African Union chair, talking about what the continent has to bring to the table.
He lists good governance, support for the youth and combating corruption. This has been mantra development partners for decades.
The summit, planned for more than a year by French President Emmanuel Macron, calls for a new dynamic in providing vaccines to Africa and in funding the $300 billion shortfall it has suffered from the COVID lockdown.
This requires a sea change in the attitude of donor nations who will need to double the COVID vaccine provided to Africa this year and triple it in 2022.
The IMF, says the communique, must triple the drawing rights granted to African countries to $100-billion and boost the ability of African nations to produce their own COVID vaccine.
Africa has indeed been impacted less severely by the pandemic than the rest of the world.
But this could change dramatically, as it did in India, with only 3% of the population vaccinated.
That figure recurs ominously when looking at the economic impact of COVID on Africa.
The continent’s expected grown this year will be 3% which is half of the global average.
IMF head Kristalina Georgieva provided a chilling takeaway for delegates in Paris. For Africa to recover economically, she says, 40% of its people must be vaccinated this year and 60% by mid 2022.