In this file photograph taken on June 24, 2014, then vice-chairman of the Vivendi supervisory board Vincent Bollore looks on during a company general meeting in Paris. / AFP / Eric PIERMONT
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In an opinion article in French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche the head of the Bollore Group, who was charged in connection with the awarding of two lucrative port concessions in West Africa, said the continent was wrongfully portrayed in France as a "land of misrule, even corruption".Bollore, one of France's most powerful businessmen, sits at the head of a sprawling business empire with revenues of 18.3 billion euros ($22.4 billion) in 2017 and interests in everything from construction and logistics to media, advertising and agriculture.The nearly 200-year-old Bollore Group operates a dozen container ports in Africa and has stakes in several others, along with three railway concessions and interests in palm oil production.After Gnassingbe's re-election to a second term in 2010, the Bollore Group won the 35-year Lome port contract.
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