A young man from Africa finds himself torn between honesty, the law, and his personal goals in this drama. El-Hadj Diop (Djolof Mbengue) is a student from Senegal who has almost completed his studies at a university in Paris when he discovers that he has neglected to renew his residency papers.
While El-Hadj regards this as a minor oversight, the immigration authorities take a much harder line on the matter, and make it clear that they intend to send him back to Senegal at the earliest opportunity. El-Hadj doesn't want to be sent home before he can complete his degree, and is desperate to find a way to stay in France long enough to graduate.
El-Hadj's girlfriend offers to marry him so that he may stay in the country, but he prefers not to involve her in his immigration troubles; instead he arranges to purchase forged immigration documents, and takes a job with a construction crew in order to pay for them.
However, it isn't long before El-Hadj's plans hit a very serious snag. L'Afrance was screened in competition at the 2001 Locarno Film Festival.