Thursday, 18 August, 2022
E-paper

New Cold War

Russia and West vie for influence in Africa

JOHANNESBURG: Russian, French and American leaders are crisscrossing Africa to win support for their positions on the war in Ukraine, waging what some say is the most intense competition for influence on the continent since the Cold War, reports AP.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emanuel Macron are each visiting several African countries this week. Samantha Power, head of the US Agency for International Development, went to Kenya and Somalia last week. The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, will go to Ghana and Uganda next week.

“It’s like a new Cold War is playing out in Africa, where the rival sides are trying to gain influence,” said William Gumede, director of Democracy Works, a foundation promoting good governance.

Lavrov, in his travels across the drought- and hunger-stricken continent, has sought to portray the West as the villain, blaming it for rising food prices, while the Western leaders have accused the Kremlin of cynically using food as a weapon.