Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


Laura Seay

Second Advisor

Linsday Mayka


Non-governmental organizations (NGO) have the reputation for being benevolent organizations that help populations in need. Globally, these organizations promote this particular image to the public, but international NGOs also often work in tandem with other neo-colonial structure systems to maintain Western domination over poor and underdeveloped countries in Africa and elsewhere. This thesis looks at this phenomenon through the lens of French neo-colonialism and the Françafrique regime to study the extent to which French NGOs participate in this neo-colonial system in Francophone West Africa. Using interview data and data collected from the European Commission’s ECHO, this thesis looks at the role that donor funding and bureaucratization play in upholding neo-colonial structure systems and values. Additionally, I identify certain human elements related to insensitivity, Western superiority, and paths for the future. This thesis finds that, knowingly or not, French NGOs participate in this neo-colonial system through the creation of dependency structures, lack of technological development, and the prioritization of the superiority of Western values in Francophone West Africa.


neo-colonialism, Francophone West Africa, NGOs, donor funding, INGOs