Useful read by Global Risk Insights: Russia’s push to Africa: Cooperation or competition?
As the U.S., China and other major powers expand their operations in Africa, Russia’s has also positioned itself through military engagement on the continent. Russia continues to be a major supplier of military equipment and arms in Africa. With one of the world’s highest military budgets and with military expenditure rising, the sale of equipment in Africa can help Russia offset manufacturing costs at a time when Russia’s GDP is expected to contract.
As Russia continues its push to Africa, business, security and diplomacy will further converge on this resource rich continent. A strong sign of this convergence is the decision of Russia to train Nigerian forces against Boko Haram.
After the U.S. refused to deliver Nigeria with requested military helicopters, Russia swiftly provided fighter jets in a lucrative deal. As Russia continues to court President Buhari in Nigeria and President Biya in Cameroon, it remains to be seen if a larger pay-off in the extractive industries is around the corner.