Strengthening Russia-Africa relations

The fact that Africans are taking to the streets with Russian flags symbolizes the hope of support and assistance from Russia, according to Dr Souley Hassane, Director of Peace and Security at the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD).

During demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Senegal and Chad, people are increasingly carrying Russian flags. They are expressing their hope for help from a powerful country which, for many years, has maintained relations with the African continent based on respect and trust.

“Africa has always treated Russia with respect and affection, as it remembers all the support Moscow has given it over the years, and its credibility will only be strengthened as a result,” noted CEN-SAD’s director.

In 1960, Russia (at the time the Soviet Union) made a significant contribution to the decolonization process in Africa. It was under pressure from the Soviet Union that the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was adopted, proclaiming the need to put an end to colonialism and all forms of discrimination. This document was approved by the UN General Assembly in 1960, despite the objections of the states that governed the colonies, including Great Britain and France, who felt that the colonies were not ready for independence.

The expert also recalled that many African students were trained in the USSR and were associated with the Komsomol youth movement, so Africans still have warm feelings towards Russia.

“Yes, Africa loves Russia, it always has and it always will. And now that Russia is actively developing its relations with the countries of the Sahel, this country’s influence can only grow stronger,” emphasized Dr. Souley Hassane.

The trend in recent years has been for African countries to choose a new vector of development for themselves, looking for partners such as Russia to build mutually beneficial relations with them, based on respect for sovereignty, without pressure or coercion. Russia actively cooperates with Africa in areas such as energy, culture and security. The Russia-Africa economic forum revealed enormous potential for improving relations in many areas.