Africa in the Russia-Ukraine war
Russian President Vladimir Putin and participants of the Russia-Africa summit pose for a photo in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 28 July 2023. © Sergey Bobylev/Tass Host Photo Agency/Reuters

Running story
Africa in the Russia-Ukraine war

Despite taking place thousands of kilometres from Africa, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is having a substantial impact on the continent's economies and governments. Facing hurdles in the supply of grain, fertiliser and fuel, and starved of Russian investment, especially in mining projects, African countries are trying to adapt to the crisis while Moscow and Western countries are lobbying hard to bring them into line with their respective positions.

Africa in the Russia-Ukraine war
Russian President Vladimir Putin and participants of the Russia-Africa summit pose for a photo in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 28 July 2023. © Sergey Bobylev/Tass Host Photo Agency/Reuters

Angola, Mozambique
Kyiv's bid to win over Portuguese-speaking countries

Ukraine would like to become an observer of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries as it works on reviving its relations with African nations to counter Russian influence - and it already has Angola's support.

Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine, 24 August 2023.
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Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine, 24 August 2023.

Nigeria
Vice President Shettima to blame for Russian fertiliser delay

A shipment of Russian potash, promised to Nigeria months ago, has been plagued by delays. Moscow has tried to use this as a political weapon, blaming Europe for the hold up. But the delay is in fact the fault of the Nigerian vice president.

Nigeria's Vice-President Kashim Shettima shaking hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the second Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum in St Petersburg, Russia, 28 July 2023.
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Nigeria's Vice-President Kashim Shettima shaking hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the second Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum in St Petersburg, Russia, 28 July 2023.

In Focus | DRC
Kinshasa's thorny Kyiv-Moscow balancing act over armaments

The DRC is in negotiations with both Russia and Ukraine to equip its growing army as it steps up its fight against rebel groups in the East. With tensions high over the Ukraine conflict, and Kyiv showing a keen interest in the Congolese army's Soviet arsenal, Kinshasa is having to tread carefully between the two warring nations under the West's watchful eye.

The DRC is in negotiations with both Russia and Ukraine to equip its growing army as it steps up its fight against rebel groups in the East.
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The DRC is in negotiations with both Russia and Ukraine to equip its growing army as it steps up its fight against rebel groups in the East.

Cameroon
Biya makes overtures to Putin via Indomitable Lions

Cameroon has arranged to play a friendly in Moscow in mid-October. It will be the first football match between an African team and Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and has been actively encouraged by the Cameroonian president.

Cameroonian president Paul Biya and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg on 28 July 2023.
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Cameroonian president Paul Biya and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg on 28 July 2023.

Uganda
Entebbe serves as key logistics hub for Moscow and Abu Dhabi

For the past few months a flurry of Russian-made Ilyushin cargo planes has been landing at Uganda's main airport. These aircraft are then flown to Central and East African countries in the throes of security and humanitarian crises.

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DRC
Tshisekedi due in Kyiv before attending Russia-Africa summit

The Congolese president, who confirmed to Moscow that he would be attending the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg, will nevertheless make a detour to Kyiv before the event, where he will meet the Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

Félix Tshisekedi, at an African Union coordination meeting in Nairobi, 16 July 2023.
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Félix Tshisekedi, at an African Union coordination meeting in Nairobi, 16 July 2023.

Mali
Moscow supplies Bamako with Russian wheat at knock-down prices

Mali's PM Choguel Kokalla Maiga secured the delivery of 50,000 tonnes of grain from Russia between June and July for well below market prices.

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Comoros islands
African Union chair Azali Assoumani turns his attentions to Ukraine

The Comorian leader, who has held the rotating AU presidency since February, has found himself solicited by both Kyiv and Moscow over the Ukrainian conflict.

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South Africa
Hurdles hinder launch of Nordwind's Moscow-Pretoria air route

South Africa and Russia want a connecting flight between their capitals, likely run by Russian firm Nordwind. But Western sanctions are getting in the way.

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East Africa
Helsinki woos East Africa to offset Ukraine war fallout

Western sanctions on Moscow have slashed Finland's exports to Russia, forcing Finnish firms to look for business elsewhere. Helsinki has it sights set on East Africa, where it hopes to open up new trading opportunities.

Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintila in Helsinki, Finland, on 13 September 2019.
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Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintila in Helsinki, Finland, on 13 September 2019.

United States
US anti-Russia bill on hold

It is unlikely the halted bill aimed at sanctioning African states deemed too close to Russia will be reintroduced to Congress after the midterms in November. The Senate sees the text as counterproductive and poorly presented.

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Egypt
Cairo banks on IMF to save wheat-starved private flour mills

The state body that provides wheat for Egypt's subsidised bread programme has agreed to supply private millers to help them through a crisis that has shut most of their mills. But this is a stop-gap measure, with the country hoping that an IMF loan will provide long-term relief.

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Africa, Switzerland, UAE
Litasco shifts to Dubai to circumvent Ukraine sanctions

The trading arm of the Russian oil giant Lukoil, which until now has been run from Geneva, is gradually moving to Dubai in order to continue its activities in Africa despite sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine.

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West Africa
BRICS' Russian boss Larisa Zelentsova makes her move in Francophone Africa

Accompanied on her tour by her Africa expert, the president of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa alliance has made the opening of a West Africa headquarters in Senegal official.

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West Africa
MINUSMA struggling as sanctions on Russia ground its aircraft

Since September, the UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA, has been directly affected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) decision to block the UN use of Russian aircraft

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Africa, South Africa
Russians Lukoil and TMK hunt for African contracts in Cape Town

Many representatives from Russia attended the 28th edition of Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Africa
African Union mobilises task force to counter effects of Ukraine war

The pan-African organisation, concerned about fluctuations in commodity markets and other possible consequences of the war in Ukraine, has set up a task force to gather information and take action to try to limit the effects of the conflict.

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West Africa
Ukraine war prompts Brussels to delay delivery of French armoured vehicles to Africa

The armed forces of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Gabon will have to wait a little longer to receive the first transfers of French armoured personnel carriers under the Integrated Ground Mobility and Protection Programme that Paris launched last year.

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Australia, Morocco, Western Sahara
OCP resumes Western Sahara phosphate exports to Australia

Faced with supply difficulties linked to Russia's war on Ukraine, the Australian fertiliser producer Incitec Pivot has restarted its imports of phosphates from the Boucraa mine in the Sahara, operated by OCP. It had stopped sourcing there in 2016, after protest from Scandinavian shareholders.

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Spotlight | Burkina Faso, Guinea, Russia, UAE
Nordgold gets creative to refine its African gold in the Emirates

The Russian mining firm, whose main shareholder Alexey Mordashov is under European sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has had to work out new paths to get its Guinean and Burkinabe gold production to refineries in the United Arab Emirates.

Alexei Mordashov, Nordgold's main shareholder, has been targeted by European sanctions.
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Alexei Mordashov, Nordgold's main shareholder, has been targeted by European sanctions.


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