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while its easy and perhaps alot arrogant on the part of the british ,dutch or even the french to assume that they advanced the countries into the 17th thru 20th centuries another way of looking at it, especially in the french case, is how drastically that relationship today for several west african countries is how bad it is now delaying their economic improvement due to french control of their banking. france is still a colonial power in west africa due to its siphoning off money that otherwise could be plowed back into each of those nations economies. the cameroons is a case in point as are several other sahel countries.