Russia challenging US and French influence in Africa
Russia has been building key strategic military alliances in Africa, challenging US and French political and military influence in the continent.
From Libya to Nigeria, Ethiopia to Mali, Moscow has been building key strategic military alliances and an increasingly favorable public profile across Africa in recent years.
In the past two months alone, Russia has signed military cooperation agreements with Nigeria and Ethiopia, Africa’s two most populous nations.
However, France still maintains the largest presence and troop numbers of any former colonial power in Africa. Paris has 5,100 troops in the Sahel, where the border area between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger meet.
The US has also pledged to reignite its economic and commercial ties with Africa to counter Chinese and Russian presence.
In 2018, then-US national security advisor John Bolton singled out Russia’s expansionist “influence across Africa,” and Washington has been keen to retain a foothold on the continent.
Russia has sought to offer an alternative to African countries that have grown disgruntled with Western “diplomatic partnerships,” which in reality are ploys to continue exploiting the continent.
Africa’s booming economies and population have created lucrative
opportunities for international players, making the continent a hotbed of
geopolitical competition over the past decade.
The International Monetary Fund found in 2019 that Africa had become the
world’s fastest-growing region, with the World Economic Forum predicting its
population would double to around 2.2 billion by 2050.
Africa, with its abundant natural and mineral resources, as well as vast human capital, still suffers from poverty, mainly as a result of the West’s exploitation of the continent and the corrupt governments in Africa.
The exploitation of Africa by the Western world since 1500 made a dramatic contribution to the building of the economies of North America and Europe.
Africa's corrupt governments have also been instruments at the hands of international Western bodies like IMF and World Bank to exploit the natural resources at the expense of inhabitants of the continent.
Neocolonialism has continued in various forms by Western countries, but has taken a different shape from previous colonial methods of direct military and political control.
In fact, Western powers continue to pursue imperial policies in various guises to maintain their economic dominance around the world, and Africa has always been the focus of Western attention.