1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Francophone Africa

Edited By Tony Chafer, Margaret A. Majumdar Copyright 2024
    504 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Francophone Africa brings together a multidisciplinary team of international experts to reflect on the history, politics, societies, and cultures of French-speaking parts of Africa.

    Consisting of approximately 35% of Africa’s territory, Francophone Africa is a shifting concept, with its roots in French and Belgian colonial rule. This handbook develops and problematizes the term, with thematic sections covering:

    • Colonial and post-colonial ties between France and sub-Saharan Africa
    • Belgium, Belgian colonialism and Africa
    • The Maghreb
    • African Francophones in France
    • Francophone African literature and film
    • ‘Francophone’ and ‘Anglophone’ Africa
    • Beyond national boundaries and ‘colonial partners’

    The chapters demonstrate the evolution of "Francophone Africa" into a multi-dimensional construct, with both a material and an imagined reality. Materially, it defines a regional territorial space that coexists with other conceptualisations of African space and borders. Conceptually, Francophone Africa constitutes a shared linguistic and cultural space within which collective memories are shared, not least through their connection to the French imperial imagination. Overall, the Handbook demonstrates that as global power structures and relations evolve, African agency is increasingly assertive in shaping French-African relations.

    Bringing this important debate together into a single volume, this Handbook will be an essential resource for students and scholars interested in Francophone Africa.


    Tony Chafer & Margaret A. Majumdar

    Section 1. Colonial and post-colonial ties between France and sub-Saharan Africa

    1. Colonialism and Decolonisation in French sub-Saharan Africa
    2. Alexander Keese

    3. Françafrique
    4. Tony Chafer

    5. The Durability of the "Gendarme de l'Afrique": from Empire to Fighting Terrorism
    6. Bruno Charbonneau

    7. Francophonie and Africa: Past, Present and Future Perspectives
    8. Margaret A. Majumdar

    9. France and Francophone Africa: An Enduring Financial and Economic Relationship faced with Uncertainty
    10. Francois Gaulme

    11. Colonial Medicine in French West Africa: Scientists for Empire from the origins to independence 1960
    12. Adama Aly Pam

    13. French Schools in sub-Saharan Africa
    14. Françoise Blum

    15. Reconciling with the Past and Looking to the Future: The Place of the Tirailleurs Sénégalais in Post-Colonial Senegal
    16. Ruth Ginio

      Section 2. Belgium, Belgian colonialism and Africa

    17. Belgian colonisation in Africa and decolonisation
    18. Guy Vanthemsche

    19. Facing ghosts: Lumumba Shadows
    20. Fernanda Vilar

    21. Guilty Imaginaries: rethinking language and ethnicity in post-colonial Rwanda and Burundi
    22. Pierre Boizette

      Section 3. The Maghreb

    23. Language Policies in Algeria since 1962: Identity Renewal in the Light of Realpolitik Imperatives
    24. Yassine Temlali

    25. The Languages of Democracy in post 2011 Tunisia
    26. Charis Boutieri

    27. Maghrebi Francophonies: from the Colonial to the Postcolonial and Beyond
    28. Zineb Ali Ben Ali

      Section 4. Francophones in France

    29. "A Great Gang of Black and Brown Humanity": The Lives and Politics of African Migrants in Twentieth Century France, from Vagabonds and Transients to Maritime Labourers and Intellectuals
    30. Jennifer Boittin

    31. Postcolonial Migration, Racism and Culture: France and North Africa
    32. Jonathan Lewis

    33. Cultural Pan-Africanism in Twentieth Century France
    34. Rachel Gillett

    35. "Our lives are political!" Afrofeminism in France or the fightback of the granddaughters of Empire
    36. Silyane Larcher

    37. The Road to 2005: How the Memory of Colonialism in France Became a Substitute for Race
    38. Itay Lotem

      Section 5. Francophone African Literature and Film

    39. Colonial/ Postcolonial Francophonies in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Topicality to Universality
    40. Saliou Dione

    41. The problematic location of Reunionese literature within Francophone studies
    42. Laetitia Saint-Loubert

    43. How African languages free Francophone African cinema
    44. Amadou Kone

      Section 6. ‘Francophone’ and ‘Anglophone’ Africa

    45. ‘Francophones’ and ‘Anglophones’ in Cameroon: Official bilingualism, language competition and everyday practice
    46. Gratien G. Atindogbe & Koumassol Midinette Endurence Dissake

    47. A Postcolonial appraisal of Francophone/ Anglophone relations in Cameroon
    48. Nkwenti Fru

    49. The Commonwealth of Nations and ‘francophone’ Africa: bridging the colonial divides?
    50. Melanie Torrent

      Section 7. Beyond national boundaries and 'colonial partners'

    51. Pan-Africanism in francophone West Africa: continuity vs rupture
    52. Kalilou Sidibé

    53. Francophone Africa beyond 'colonial partners': French-speaking countries' economic cooperation with China
    54. Claude Sumata

    55. From Regional Organisations to Coalition Interventions: Francophone Africa and contemporary security challenges

              Malte Brosig & Bastien Nivet


    Tony Chafer is Emeritus Professor of African and French Studies at the University of Portsmouth and a Fellow of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice, University of Ibadan. He is a historian specializing on Francophone Africa and French relations with Africa in the late colonial and post-colonial periods. His monograph La fin de l’empire colonial français en Afrique de l’Ouest: entre utopie et désillusion was published by Presses Universitaires de Rennes in 2019. He edited (with Alexander Keese) Francophone Africa at Fifty (2013). He recently published ‘Beyond Françafrique – the state of relations between France and Africa’, Europa World (Routledge, 2023). He has also published widely on French military and security policy in Africa.

    Margaret A. Majumdar is Emeritus Professor of Francophone Studies at the University of Portsmouth. She has published extensively on French political philosophy and the Francophone dimension of postcoloniality. Her publications include Post-coloniality: The French Dimension (2007); Transition and Development in Algeria: Economic, Social and Cultural Challenges (with M. Saad, 2005); Francophone Studies: The Essential Glossary (2002); and Althusser and the End of Leninism? (1995).