Emmanuel Macron Defends Controversial Quip on Air-conditioning in Africa

President Macron

President Emmanuel Macron described his air-conditioning quip while on a visit to Burkina Faso as a joke. The president explained the quip in a special talk with FRANCE 24. However, his explanation did not amuse everyone on Twitter. In the past decade, a number of French presidents have tried to reset the record especially on Franco-African relations and ended up with devastating consequences. In 2007, the then French President, Nicolas Sarkozy blundered and stated that the African man had not yet gone down in history. Francois Hollande also made a similar remark touching on Africans, which sparked an uproar.

Emmanuel Macron and the Fresh Generation

President Macron tried to close the Francafrique door, as he was viewed as the perfect candidate to do so. Macron is just 39 years old and therefore has no history or any kind of emotional links to the African continent. This made him the perfect candidate to terminate Francafrique. President Macron informed students at the University of Ougadougou that he comes from a generation which perceives Mandela's history as a political memory. He further revealed that he came from a generation that does not favor telling Africans the right course of action to take. The setting of the meeting was informal and with a genial and boisterous atmosphere. The audience was full of laughter at the various quips as the president swayed it. Everything went on well during the talk until the president made the air-conditioning remark, which went viral.

The 'Air-conditioning ' Moment

One of the students in the audience asked Macron what he would do in order to deal with the rampant power cuts in Burkina Faso. President Macron fired back claiming that the student had addressed him as if he were a colonial master. He added that it was not his responsibility to look after the power rather it was the responsibility of the country's president. President Roch Marc Kabore from Burkina Faso smiled in a good natured smile when Macron shot back at the question. When President Kabore later on stood up to leave the room, President Macron joked that he had gone to fix the air-conditioning.

Macron's joke ought to have ended there but social media consumers took up the matter and created a ruckus. Different persons shared diverse views about the issue and photoshopped images of the president started appearing on social media. Macron explained that he and the Burkina Faso president were friends who share jokes with each other. The president pointed out that Kabore laughed and came back to the talk minutes later, a proof that it was all but a joke.

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