Russia’s Plan for Making Friends in Africa

Russia's Plan for Making Friends in Africa
Russia's Plan for Making Friends in Africa

As part of its resurgence, Russia has continued to establish itself as a global actor. Though it may not have the same capabilities or resources as other great powers, Moscow has inserted itself in local dynamics across the globe — particularly in Africa, where it has developed a coherent strategy far beyond a bilateral approach to grow relationships across the continent as a whole.

Since Russian private military contractors began appearing in the Central African Republic in 2018, Russia’s strategic ambitions in Africa have grown with every interaction between Moscow and any actors on the continent. For a long time after the end of the Cold War, Africa was relatively unimportant to Russia’s foreign policy. But as Russia began moving into a new international role over the past five years, Africa has returned to prominence in Moscow’s foreign policy because of its value to Russia’s goals in the global great power competition. And though Russia has fewer resources than its competitors for fostering ties with African nations, it also offers more flexibility and fewer strings attached.

While Russia so far has had several successes in Africa, materializing the full extent of its
ambitions would come at a great cost. And the country does not have the vast financial resources of other global powers that could allow it to simply buy its way into African states or finance the infrastructure projects. Especially in a theater where several other powers are actively protecting or acquiring influence as well, Russia’s constraints can set it back significantly. A country like China, for example, has the benefit of much deeper pockets from which it can provide economic incentives to African leaders — although domestic economic challenges have somewhat reduced the lavish nature of Chinese infrastructure spending in Africa. Western actors such as the United States or France, meanwhile, can offer more sustainable connections to their economic markets, as well as highly sophisticated defense and security support.


Center for Africa Studies (AFRAM) which located in Ankara, is an organization facilitating under the administration of African Affairs Council (AFAC). It makes various researches about Africa to enhance economic and cultural bounds between Africa and Turkey. AFRAM’s publishings has been shared with different institutions as they require to obtain.


Africa Observatory is one the publishing of AFRAM and it has been published each two weeks. It has been delivered to different institutions via e-mail.

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