There are various stories in the internet about how France gets billions from its former colonies. These figures are often inconsistent. Does France benefit from its former colonies?
This is a good example of an article making France responsible for the misery of an entire continent. While France still has some influence in the region, when it comes to African dictators, it is not really an evil puppetmaster. It lacks the power and the will. France acts more like a pragmatic businessman and sometimes endorses a cop role if necessary. The forces it deploys are usually enough to help ensure some security, but not to control entire countries.
The intervention in Mali was backed by the UN, the new president, and even some Touareg rebels. No one really wanted to see an Islamic state in the Sahara desert. Not states, not companies, not Malian people, and at the end not even the Touaregs who started as allies of jihadists .
The intervention in Ivory Coast against Gbagbo was also backed by the UN and the new, freshly elected president. Mr Gbagbo positioning himself as a victim of a French plot looks more like a strategy for his trial at the ICC, since he did not have any particular problems before that.
The French government also sometimes gets blamed when it does not act, or only utters some critics. It was the case in the last Gabonese election of 2016. Here is a call for action by Gabonese activists to the French president.
As for "France has trained thousands of dormant traitors". France is often blamed when there are rebels somewhere. The rebels are usually backed by another African dictator in power for years. A good example is Blaise Compaore (the link in French explains how he backed rebels in both Mali and Ivory Coast). Another is Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and his dealings with al Qaeda.
When it comes to the dealings of French companies, or to the 70s, or to groups of colons being asses when told to leave, it may be different (I was not even born, so I do not risk going into this).
Additional source : Bruno Jaffre, huge fan of Thomas Sankara and author of one of his biographies, is one of my colleagues. His opinion may influence mine. He really despises Compaore, and hated all the successive French governments for getting along with him.
There is no colonial tax like the article you provided suggested, but there seem to be sanctions against some countries. I'm no expert, so I won't expand on this.
The confusion there is between a possible colonial tax and money transfer probably comes from an agreement between France and 14 former colonies revolving around the use of the CFA franc and the Comorian franc:
- France guarantees the unlimited conversion of both those currencies into any foreign currency ;
- The conversion between the french currency and those two currencies are fixed ;
- Interior money transfer of the common currency zone ;
- In return of these three principles, 50% of the CFA franc reserves and 65% of the Comorian ones are stored in Paris.
There are pros (like monetary stability) and cons (like over-evaluation of the currency). There is also a supervision by the European Union
I know that the french article could be considered as biased, so any help to make this answer more objective and thorough is welcome.
These figures are often inconsistent.
Because those figures are estimates. As estimates go, they vary , and often times wildly.
Does France benefit from its former colonies
Unless lots of counter claims exist, your survey would suggest "yes".
Think about it this way: what might have motivated the french expeditions, and subsequent colonization? Their love for the native people?