On March 12th, ONE France launched one of its most ambitious campaigns yet: ONE VOTE 2012. The idea was to take advantage of the presidential election to call to the candidates to revise the current relationship between France and Africa. The campaign covered everything from aid and its efficiency to the duty of transparency of French companies working in Africa.
During almost two months, ONE members quizzed the candidates using twitter on the following areas:
France has to keep its promises, especially the 0.7 % aid commitment by 2015, in order to be a credible actor and a real leader of a just and shared globalization.
France’s aid must be accountable.
France has to make sure that its companies contribute to the development of the African continent and has to ensure that they are more transparent.
ONE France launched a ONE Vote 2012 website featuring a video that starred former presidents of the Republic. When candidates responded to the questions, ONE members could vote on whether they liked or disliked their answers.
The campaign was a great success. All the candidates answered our questions, with the exception of extreme right leader Marine le Pen. We even received an answer in video to our questions (see the answer of Kader Arif, from elect President François Hollande’s team).
Last Sunday, the presidential election ended, and François Hollande was elected President of French Republic. It is thus to him that goes the heavy but necessary duty to revise the link uniting France and the African continent for the coming five years.
Within the framework of the ONE VOTE campaign, François Hollande made a commitment towards making the 0.7 % Aid promise. He also declared support for more transparency in the extractive industries in their operations abroad.
We hope that the new president will keep to his commitments: he can be inspired by a recent poll that demonstrates that an ambitious development policy is supported by the French people: only 19 % of our fellow countrymen want the French aid for development to be decreased. According to another survey published last month, 74 % of the French people are in favour of a financial transaction tax, which would raise money for development.
François Hollande has in his hands the power to raise the French international politics as high as France’s ambitions. And the countries of Africa should be his first strategic allies in this adventure. The new president has the chance to make make the relationship between France and Africa a powerful remedy for the challenges ahead and to open the way to a better future for all. A first opportunity will appear to the new president on May 18th, during the G8 summit. The summit will discuss an initiative to reduce global poverty and hunger.
ONE will keep up the fight for a new relation between France and Africa. Thank you all, our members, our Facebook fans and Twitter followers, who signed and shared the petition, who mobilized and made these commitments possible.
And please, keep mobilized: let us not give up and let us call on the leaders of the G8, of whom François Hollande is henceforth a member, to break the vicious circle of hunger and poverty by signing the petition!
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
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