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Russia’s comeback in Africa: A house of cards or built to last?

When the UN General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, seventeen African states abstained. It provides a stark illustration of how the world has been far from unanimous in its response to this war. And perhaps more importantly, the African abstentions cannot be seen separately from the growth of Russia’s footprint on the continent in recent years – not least through the presence of the Wagner Group.


What are the main drivers behind this trend, and what forms does Russian “influence” take? Should the EU, its member states and NATO partners respond to this – and if so, in what ways? And how do African states actively contribute to the shaping of these relations?


The Young Atlantic Association welcomed Guido Lanfranchi (Clingendael) to discuss these and many more pressing questions. The event took place on 24 May at 19:00 in The Hague at Het Koorenhuis (Prinsegracht 27).


Guido Lanfranchi is a Junior Research Fellow at Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit (CRU), where he has done extensive research on the engagement of various foreign powers on the African continent – especially in the Horn of Africa. Guido’s research interests revolve around the interplay between economic, political and security dynamics, with a focus on the influence of economic interests and business elites on the shaping of governance arrangements and conflict patterns.

Photo: Flickr/GovernmentZA (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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