His response, which included a claim that Africa's problems were, at least in part, "civilisational" triggered a predictable social media storm, complete with accusations of racism.
The outrage, however, distracted from an important point: Africa does not need another development plan from Europe.
We Already Tried That and It Didn't Work
Historically, there have been many Europe-led development plans for Africa that weren't all that helpful.
"We among the West have been discussing such Marshall plans for Africa for many years and have in fact given many such plans already. So if it were so simple, it would have been fixed already," Macron admitted.
And he was right. In the last two years alone, European governments have introduced, among other initiatives, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the European External Investment Plan (EEIP), and this past July, the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) – dubbed the "best EU initiative ever". These are just a few examples, but historically, there have been many Europe-led development plans for Africa that weren't all that helpful.