Boulevard Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to Boulevard Thomas Sankara

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Young people in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, changed a street sign from Boulevard Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to Boulevard Thomas Sankara. The boulevard is the biggest in Abidjan (unknown photographer)

Boulevard Valéry Giscard d’Estaing served as President of France from 1974 to 1981. He continued and even expanded de Gaulle’s African policy of neo colonisation of “Francophone” Africa and intensified the exploitation of Africa’s resources. He once stated that “I am dealing with African affairs namely with France’s interest in Africa”

In 1978, he visited Ivory Coast to meet with then 72 years old President Houphouet-Boigny. According to French sources, the main purpose of the visit is to further strengthen France’s ties with the Ivory Coast and to encourage other African nations to follow the Ivory Coast’s example by cooperating more closely with Western. Europe on economic and political matters.

Mr d’Estaing has been implicated in illegal diamond smuggling from Africa The diamonds affair, known in France as “l’affaire des diamants”, was a major political scandal in the 5th French Republic. In 1973, the then Minister of Finance, president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing was offered two diamonds from the Emperor of the Central African Empire, the notorious dictator Bokassa I. The affair was unveiled by the satiric newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné on October 10, 1979, towards the end of Giscard’s presidency. It contributed to Giscard losing his 1981 reelection bid.

In May 2020, the forer president was accused of sexual harassment. A German reporter Ann-Kathrin Stracke accuse Mr d’Estaing of touching her buttocks repeatedly during a 2018 interview. French officials have opened a formal investigation.

The new generation of Africans are on course to correct some of the ills of the colonial masters. There is a growing call for colonial munument and symbols to be removed from public space and relace with those of national heroes and African Liberators.

Ivorian youth are hoping that the government will comply with their demands and make the change from Boulevard Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to Boulevard Thomas Sankara permanent.

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