The French African Connection – Episode 2: The Elf Scandal [VIDEO]

French _Connection

This series explores the dark and dramatic history of France’s relationships with its former African colonies. The second episode of this series reveals France’s ongoing mission to secure access to oil and maintain a firm grip over its former colonies.

In the decades following independence, France supported the lavish lifestyles of African dictators while their people endured extreme poverty.

A complicated network of government and non-government employees laundered money through the country’s public oil company, Elf Aquitaine. When this was revealed in 1994, it became known as the Elf scandal.

There are times, you know, when policy passes before morality.

Maurice Delaunay, former French ambassador to Gabon

People who were involved in this network also rigged elections and orchestrated coups. The French government even paid for one African leader to become an emperor – only to later overthrow him. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the uncovering of the Elf scandal, African leaders suddenly saw the balance of power shift in their favour.

Watch Episode 1 here in case you missed it.

– Al Jazeera