I’ve written for UnHerd about the new scramble for Africa — the struggle between Western countries, China and Russia for influence over this immensely resource-rich, young continent predicted to be the next frontier of growth. In this game, Russia is particularly well-positioned. More so than the West, it enjoys strong historical and ideological ties with many African nations, given that the Soviet Union was the primary ally of several nations on the continent during the Cold War. Meanwhile, Sino-African relations are also deepening, with China now the continent’s largest trading partner and main source of project finance in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. This has included massive infrastructural projects: railways, roads, dams, ports and airports. China’s approach differs starkly from the Western one, which continues to be heavily reliant on military force and repression — what some might call neocolonialism. Just last year, the US bombed Somalia and Niger. Meanwhile, American special operations teams are playing a direct role in military actions in at least eight African countries, including Somalia, Kenya, Tunisia and Niger, under a set of classified “surrogate programmes”. Read the article here.

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