French President Emmanuel Macron has unveiled France’s new Africa strategy which will see a reduction in its troops on the continent as more local forces co-run its bases.
It comes just weeks after Russia promised more military support and training for countries across West Africa.
Mr Macron announced the new strategy ahead of a four-nation Africa visit as more global powers vie for influence on the continent.
President Macron described French military bases in Africa as a heritage from the past.
But he said his country should not be a scapegoat for failures in the fight against extremist groups in the Sahel.
French forces, who had been fighting against militants in the region for more than a decade, pulled out of Mali last year after the country invited in the Wagner group.
Mr Macron described the group as the life insurance of failing regimes.
French troops were also asked to leave Burkina Faso in January amid a growing anti-France sentiment.
Mr Macron’s newly unveiled strategy is meant to redefine France’s relationship with Africa as competition from Russia and China grows.