Russia, the New Player in Africa

The focus on China’s growing influence in Africa and the US’s waning concern for the continent has drawn attention away from a third international player seeking to gain a major foothold on the continent: Russia.

While Russia’s involvement in Africa is not nearly as extensive as the tens of billions of dollars that China has pumped into the continent, Moscow has been making more explicit overtures in recent years.  Russia hosted economic delegations from most African nations in the mountain city of Yekaterinburg, and nearly a dozen African political delegations (largely from authoritarian or semi-competitive regimes) visited Moscow the following year.

Beyond these general overtures, Russia has found a particular niche for its involvement in Africa: weapons.  Although Africa is nowhere near the war-torn continent that lingers in popular Western imagination, there are still a number of governments seeking to hold on to power by any means necessary, and are happy to buy arms from Russia when other major suppliers won’t provide (Russia has, of course, been playing this role in Syria as well).

Russia is also happy to provide personnel through shady paramilitary units and mercenary organizations (a tactic it has been using in Ukraine for years now).  When the government of the Central African Republic, for example, found itself in the midst of a religious civil war between Christian and Muslim militias, Russia enthusiastically sent money, weapons and fighters to a conflict that most of the West chose to avoid and ignore.

Vladimir Putin’s strong arm, authoritarian and personalistic style of dictatorship fits well with the ‘Big Man’ politics that once dominated African politics and still linger in some states.  It’s not surprising that leaders like Paul Kagame of Rwanda or Omar al-Bashir of Sudan are courting and being courted by Putin’s Russia.  Furthermore, unlike China, a country characterized by an official state atheism that clashes with the religiously-infused politics of many African nations, Vladimir Putin has fully embraced religion (Orthodox Christianity in particular) as part of his ruling strategy; again, Putin’s style matches that of many of his counterparts in Africa.

All this notwithstanding, however, Russia’s foray into Africa has an air of desperation – a Scramble, if you will – since Western nations have sanctioned and ostracized Russia following its 2014 annexation of Crimea.  Africa, with its 54 nations, could emerge as a useful set of allies in contexts like the United Nations.

The growing presence of Russia in Africa has been enough to finally raise alarms in Washington. US national security advisor John Bolton recently announced a three-pronged (trade, aid, countering terrorism and violence) strategy for US re-engagement in Africa, and explicitly tied the new policies to efforts to counter both China and Russia on the continent.  Whether this new strategy will work (and whether it will overcome the bad will generated by US neglect and “shithole” countries comments and attitude, not to mention Donald Trump’s general wariness to oppose Vladimir Putin) remains to be seen.

147 thoughts on “Russia, the New Player in Africa”

  1. |あなたのマウスを注文に従ってクリックしなさい|モンクレールジャケットは現在販売中である|あなたのために多くのお金をもっと省きなさい|モンクレールアウトレット店でここのモンクレールジャケットをオンラインで割引く|従って モンクレールアウトレットの現在のディスカウントを持つ安いモンクレール
    moncler

  2. 你觉得现在的皇马和上半赛季比起来,变化最大的是什么?当你能够一场比赛打进3-4个球,那么你的自信就会回来,我觉得我们这个赛季曾经有一个月确实不怎么顺利,但是现在运气回来了,我们需要把握住好势头,皇马踢得不错,更加稳定,丢球也更少。

  3. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!
    atomy

  4. 在今年1月份,皇马曾经无限接近签下毕尔巴鄂竞技门将凯帕,但是最后齐达内却叫停了这笔交易,对此齐达内表示,在当时那个情况下,我们根本没必要要签门将,我们已经有3名门将了,而且我对他们非常满意,这个问题就等到赛季结束了再说吧。

  5. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.
    艾多美

  6. (塞尔吉奥)新浪体育公众号24小时滚动播报最新体育资讯、趣闻和视频,更多福利扫描二维码关注(sinasports)法国传奇足球明星齐达内(右)和巴西的罗纳尔多(左),20日在率领明星队举办友谊赛前举行新闻发布会。

  7. (AFP/GettyImages)【大纪元4月20日报导】(中央社伦敦20日路透电)法国传奇足球明星齐达内和巴西的罗纳尔多,今天将率领明星队举办友谊赛,来募款帮助遭伊波拉重创的几内亚、赖比瑞亚和狮子山。

  8. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
    財神娛樂城

  9. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don?t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well
    艾多美

  10. (塞尔吉奥)新浪体育公众号24小时滚动播报最新体育资讯、趣闻和视频,更多福利扫描二维码关注(sinasports)虎扑5月2日讯皇马主帅齐达内在球队淘汰拜仁的比赛后评价了这场比赛:这是一场疯狂的比赛,球迷们一定会很喜欢。

  11. 在首轮较量中,卫冕冠军皇家马德里在客场3:0击败了拉科鲁尼亚;巴塞罗那在主场2…当地时间8月8日,2017年欧洲超级杯(UEFASuperCup)决赛在马其顿首都斯科普里打响,上赛季欧冠冠军皇家马德里(Real…新年长假过后,西甲战火再次燃起。

  12. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
    財神娛樂城

  13. (塞尔吉奥)新浪体育公众号24小时滚动播报最新体育资讯、趣闻和视频,更多福利扫描二维码关注(sinasports)齐达内已经准备好与拜仁的比赛皇马采取大轮换,最终2-1击败莱加内斯。

  14. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.
    財神娛樂城

  15. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
    財神娛樂

  16. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don?t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well
    atomy

  17. I?m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that?s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.
    財神娛樂

  18. I?m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that?s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.
    財神娛樂城

  19. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
    atomy

  20. (塞尔吉奥)新浪体育公众号24小时滚动播报最新体育资讯、趣闻和视频,更多福利扫描二维码关注(sinasports)齐达内已经准备好与拜仁的比赛皇马采取大轮换,最终2-1击败莱加内斯。

  21. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
    atomy

  22. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.
    艾多美

  23. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
    atomy

Leave a Reply