The Russia-Africa Summit provides a stage for Russia to elevate its geostrategic posture despite the instability its irregular tactics are creating in Africa.
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In the wake of the recent short-lived mutiny, Putin faces a dilemma: He can allow the Wagner escapades to continue in Africa unhindered—thereby generating further influence and some resources for the government—or he can attempt to take over these operations but lose the influence and benefits Wagner brings the Kremlin.
The conflict between Sudan’s rival military factions is triggering massive population displacements that are stressing the region’s already fragile coping systems. More than 5 million people have been internally displaced and more than 1.4 million have fled the country.
Cutting off al Shabaab’s estimated $100 million in extortion-generated annual revenue will require restoring the integrity of Somalia’s compromised financial, judicial, and intelligence agencies.
African leaders who hold power indefinitely often employ cults of personality to consolidate power, demand personal fealty, and systematically undermine independent governance institutions.
Russia has systematically sought to undercut democracy in Africa, both to normalize authoritarianism as well as to create an entry point for Russian influence.
Rapidly shifting information pathways have created vulnerabilities that foreign powers—led by Russia, China, and the Gulf States—have aggressively exploited.
Unaccountable regimes in Africa are highly vulnerable to exploitation by external authoritarian actors—at a heavy cost to citizen sovereignty.
China’s efforts to reshape existing global institutions and norms rely on the support of African governments, though this can often be at odds with African citizen interests.
Most African migration is to economic hubs on the continent, a pattern that can be expected to continue as regional economies become more integrated.
While Russia has little to offer Africa economically, the political incentives for Moscow to engage on the continent have only grown stronger following its invasion of Ukraine.