NIAMEY - French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting several African countries this week in an attempt to reverse his country’s waning influence on the continent as key allies eye up partnerships with other global powers, including Russia, writes Garé Amadou in the New Humanitarian.

This intervention is unlikely to convince Nigerien civil society groups who have been hitting the streets in recent months as their country – a former French colony – becomes the new hub for France’s much-criticised Sahelian anti-jihadist operation.

“Colonisation is an unhappy memory that pushes many people to revolt against the French and France,” Amadou Oumarou, a lecturer at the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey, in the capital city, told The New Humanitarian.

Macron is not visiting West Africa’s Sahel region – which includes Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger – as part of his tour, though anti-French sentiment has been spreading there as a decade-long French intervention fails to quash spiralling jihadist insurgencies.