Sarkozy: ‘The tragedy of Africa is that the African has never really entered into history … They have never really launched themselves into the future … The African peasant, who for thousands of years has lived according to the seasons, whose life ideal was to be in harmony with nature, only knew the eternal renewal of time … In this imaginary world, where everything starts over and over again, there is room neither for human endeavor, nor for the idea of progress. The problem of Africa … is to be found here. Africa’s challenge is to enter to a greater extent into history … It is to realise that the golden age that Africa is forever recalling will not return, because it has never existed.’
Mbeki: ‘What you have said in Dakar, Mr President, has indicated to me that we are fortunate to count on you as a citizen of Africa, as a partner in the protracted struggle to achieve the renaissance of Africa within the context of a European renaissance and the rest of the world.’
Sarkozy: ‘You have been kind enough to highlight the “courage and truthfulness” of this speech. As you very well know, Africa needs truthful friends in order for her to meet the challenges she is facing.’
For a summary of the whole affaire, see here.