Russia is strategically gaining an influence in Africa. This world superpower continues to establish a presence in Africa, striking as a very reliable partner for Africa’s economic development.
Moscow’s method of trade and investment in Africa is without the prescriptions or conditionalities of bodies like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Interaction between Russia and Africa has grown exponentially this century, with trade and investment growing by 185% between 2005 and 2015.
Russian Companies Are Catalysing Energy Production In Africa
Economically, much of Russia’s focus in Africa centres on energy. Key Russian investments in Africa are in the oil, gas and nuclear power sectors.
In Egypt, negotiations have already been finalised with Moscow for the building of the country’s first nuclear plant .
Is Russia’s interest in African Minerals Questionable?
Moscow’s second area of interest is Africa’s mineral riches. This is particularly evident in Zimbabwe, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and the Central African Republic.
In Zimbabwe, Russia is developing one of the world’s largest deposits of platinum group metals.
Russia has also been reestablishing links with Angola, where Alrosa, the Russian giant, mines diamonds. Discussions between Russia and Angola have also focused on hydrocarbon production. Uranium in Namibia is another example.
Military Influence Of Russia On Africa
Russia is the second largest exporter of arms globally, and a major supplier to African states. Over the past two decades it has pursued military ties with various African countries, such as Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
The Future With Africa And Russia
Russia is keen to play a future role in Africa. Their continued partnership with African countries will no doubt be consequential to the development of the continent. With 620 million people living without electricity in Africa, such partnerships will be immensely advantageous.
For African leaders, the key word is agency and the question is how to play the renewed Russian attention to their countries’ advantage, and not to fall victim to the contemporary “geopolitical chess” game played by the major powers on the continent.