On October 26, the Valdai Club hosted an expert discussion dedicated to the protest movement in Africa.
There have been coups or attempted coups in several African countries at once. In past years, the continent experienced a similar practice: high turbulence and intense internal political struggle. The rebels are not stopped either by sanctions or by the termination of their states’ membership in the African Union and subregional organisations in Africa. After the coup in Niger, ECOWAS members openly discussed the possibility of an armed intervention to restore the power of the overthrown government, but these plans did not come to fruition.
Are these coups related to a struggle for power among the political and military elite? Or do they reflect protest sentiments in society within these states? Their low standard of living, high corruption among the ruling circles, and inability to ensure internal peace and security are among the many reasons to protest. The organisers of the coups highlighted ideological and value-related aspects. In the countries of Francophone Africa, they voiced their intention to abandon practices associated with the neocolonialism of their former metropole, as well as the authorities controlled by it. Russian flags could be seen at rallies supporting the coup in Niger.
What are the reasons for the series of coups in Africa? What will be the consequences for the region and the world as a whole? How will the existing balance of power on the continent and the foreign policy of African countries change? What role does the fight against neocolonialism play? How significant is the pro-Russian factor in shaping public opinion in Africa? Participants in the discussion tried to answer these and other questions.
- Elena Kharitonova, Senior Researcher at the Institute of African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Member of the Board of the Strategic Agency for the Development of Relations with African Countries (SAROSA)
- Konstantin Pantserev, Professor of the Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Faculty of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University
- Aliou Tounkara, Member of the Mali Parliament, former Head of the African Unity Club of the African Diaspora in St. Petersburg
- Marius Okoli, Head of the Organisation “Community of Nigerian Citizens” for the Support and Social Adaptation of Nigerian Citizens Living Outside its Borders
- Israel Nyaburi Nyadera, Lecturer at Edgerton University (Kenya)
- Lassina Zerbo, Prime Minister of Burkina Faso (2021–2022), former Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
Working languages: Russian, English.