The geopolitical landscape has changed beyond recognition in the time since the first Russia-Africa Summit was held in the autumn of 2019, laying the groundwork for an ambitious programme to expand Russia’s cooperation with Africa.
In the run-up to that large meeting of heads of state in Sochi four years ago, the Valdai Club drafted a report as well. Despite the ensuing overhaul of the international order, many of its theses still hold today. In particular, in the 2019 report, we noted that Russia did not compete with other external forces in the region, but brought extra “added value” to Africa in the form of projects. This is still true today, albeit adjusted for Russia’s wholly different geopolitical circumstances. The actual global competition for Africa has become so fi erce that it is impossible to ignore it. In addition, Russia’s geopolitical opponents are much more aggressively trying to create obstacles to cooperation with Africa than before.
The second Russia-Africa Summit scheduled for late July 2023 should defi ne the prospects for further cooperation between Russia and Africa. In light of ongoing developments, Russia needs a smart and competitive African strategy and a workable roadmap to implement it. This paper discusses ways to achieve this.