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Russia and China vs. Europe and the US: A new fight for Africa begins

Date: June 10, 2023 Time: 13:43:49

Citizens of Bukrkina Faso salute Russian soldiers with tricolor.



I celebrated New Year’s parties at the embassy of an African country. In the waiting room in front of me is a dark-haired student who came to the “piece of the homeland” for some kind of need:

– During the first three months in Russia, I cried – your language is so heavy – remember.

– Where do you plan to go next?

– My dream is to work at PMC “Wagner” as an interpreter…

The name of this private military company is on everyone’s lips. And not for the release of Soledar: the “Wagnerites” had worked in Africa even earlier. Becoming a sort of superhero to the locals thanks to victories over the terrorists who roamed the arenas and jungle in herds.

Moreover, five years ago no one had heard of any “Russian fighter on the Black Continent”, and he himself was in the periphery of vision. And today, the latest news: “The United States wants to create a military base in Morocco to counter Russian influence in Africa.” What is happening there?


The poorest but resource-rich part of the world has always been a tasty morsel for the great powers. In the 19th century, most of them acquired possessions here. France, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and tiny Belgium cut the continent like a cake. Even the United States, which few people remember now, created its own protectorate here (the same colony) – Liberia …

Everything except Russia.

She acted the other way around: in 1896, our Cossacks (somewhat similar to the current PMC) helped the Emperor of Ethiopia to maintain independence and repel the invasion of the Italian army. The religion of this country was Orthodoxy – here we are in the spirit of “all-Russian responsiveness” and help fellow believers.

The godless USSR came to replace the Russian Empire, but the vector remained the same. Unlike Europe, where they loved “ideas of racial exclusivity” (after Hitler’s defeat, they just stopped talking about them out loud), we saw Africans as “oppressed people.”

Someone will object: but after all, the Western colonialists also brought Africa to a new level, they built cities, ports, railways there! But, as studies show, “the civilizing role of Europeans on the Black Continent” is a myth. In 2022, Moscow published a translation of the book by Afro-Caribbean scientists Walter Rodney and Claude Ake “Black Hole: How Europe Made Africa Poor”, written a third of a century ago.

With figures in hand, the co-authors demonstrated that Europeans built roads and ports here solely to export African wealth abroad.


Photo: Alexey STEFANOV


Since the beginning of this century, another superpower, China, has rushed into Africa. The Chinese are building infrastructure in Africa for their mining companies, where their own citizens work and export products such as gas, oil, wood or uranium to China. In return, local officials get “gifts”…

In a word, the Eastern comrades copy the experience of both the West and the USSR, taking into account the mistakes of both.

Now, for almost the entire continent, Beijing is the biggest trading partner, and not France or the United States, as it was 20 years ago.

But fighting the terrorists plaguing Africa is clearly not the Chinese’s forte. Still, during the 70 years of the PRC, its military has very little experience in foreign “proxy operations.”


The West organizes retaliatory operations. For example, in May 2021, a certain EU citizen, retired French sergeant Juan Remy Quignolo, attempted to buy false testimonies from residents of the Central African Republic (CAR) about the alleged crimes of Russian instructors operating in that country.

The apotheosis was the attempted assassination of the director of our humanitarian center “Russian House” in the Central African Republic, Dmitry Syty. On December 15, 2022, under pressure from the legitimate government, the last French soldiers left this country. And the next day Dmitry Syty received a package with a bomb. Fortunately, he survived, albeit with a wound. And who can be behind the “parting gift” is understandable.

The point is that the economic exploitation of Africa by the West, like a century ago, is terribly lucrative.

For example, the world’s top cocoa producers are the Ivory Coast and Ghana. However, 90% of the income from this multibillion-dollar market “for some reason” is received by Western companies.

Although it is clear why. In each French chocolate bar, only 11% corresponds to African cocoa farmers. The rest ends up with European mediators.

Or another example. The capitalization (value of all shares) of the American company Starbucks, the largest coffee shop chain in the world, exceeds $120 billion. And the nominal GDP of Ethiopia, 60% of whose income comes from coffee exports, in 2022 is only $110 billion. How can a multinational company with 400,000 employees be richer than a nation with 113 million people?

It is not surprising that Africans are turning to Russia again, as they did 60 or 70 years ago.

Question – edge

Why do we need this?

And you may ask: it is, of course, good that we are helping Africans, but why? What is the benefit of this?

First, because the current world of global struggle is a chessboard. If you don’t take the “vacant cell”, someone else will. The United States, the European Union or even Turkey, which has now begun developing desperately needed oil off the coast of Somalia.

And secondly, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of Africa for the world economy. There are at least three reasons for this.

1. Africa is a growing giant.

The population of the continent is 1.2 billion people. This is slightly less than in China or India, but much more than in any other country in the world. More importantly, it is a very young (average age 19) and growing population (while developed countries are aging rapidly). This means that in a dozen or two years Africa may become the world’s largest sales market. And it’s good if there are not only Chinese and American products, but also Russian ones.

2. According to official estimates, Africa contains 30% of all the planet’s fossil resources.

And for some of them, such as gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, uranium, the Black Continent occupies one of the first places in the world. It is no coincidence that many Russian mining companies have their own projects in Africa.

3. The backwardness of African countries will become more and more a thing of the past over time.

The continent’s economy is already growing at a faster rate than the rest of the world. And, for example, according to a recent forecast by Goldman Sachs analysts, by 2075 Nigeria will enter the world’s 5 largest economies, ahead of not only Russia, but also Germany and the UK.

Finally, we must not forget about the political weight. There are 54 African countries in the UN, and many of them this year refused to support resolutions condemning Russia. And diplomatic successes don’t appear in a vacuum either.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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