The New Colonial Policy of France

Place Menelik, Djibouti, circa 1905.

"COLONIZATION seeks to establish a living balance among all the groups that constitute humanity." This definition by Jean Rémy Ayouné, a Negro intellectual from Brazzaville, in French Equatorial Africa, is imperfect but significant nevertheless. It is inadequate because other acts besides colonization aim at attaining the equilibrium mentioned -- war for instance; yet it reveals that in the eyes of a French African Negro the aim of France in colonizing his country has been to achieve a common level of civilization between the colonized and the colonizer. Each nation has its own civilizing genius; each advances on the road of human progress by its own particular methods. How does France intend to share her special genius with the peoples of her possessions? That is the question I shall try to answer.

But first let me recall a few familiar basic facts. France's colonizing experience dates back to the French

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