In the world we live in today, amid a scramble which is unfolding to gain control of the key natural resources we exploit and to shape the political world order of the 21st century, there are many areas where Africa and Russia have interests which overlap objectively. About 50-52% of the Earth’s natural resources are found in Russia and Africa, which means that Russia and countries on the African continent tend to have a shared perspective when it comes to questions of how the global economy should be organized. According to expert data, Africa has about 30% of the world’s remaining mineral reserves, and is where 83% of world platinum production takes place, 45% of world diamond production, 40% of the world’s gold mine production, 47% of its cobalt, 43% of its palladium, and 42% of the world’s chromium.
During the Cold War, Africa was one of the main arenas where the USSR and the United States struggled to expand their spheres of influence. There tended to be a stronger tilt towards Moscow on the African continent, as many Africans saw Russia as a friend and natural ally. Russia never colonized any part of Africa, and played a unique role in setting the stage to liberate and assist independent African states with the decolonization process after World War II. It was thanks to Moscow’s initiative and political support that the United Nations adopted its historic Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960. The USSR provided comprehensive assistance, including military support for national liberation movements in African countries to help newly-established governments defend their sovereignty.
During the post-colonial years on the African continent, the Soviet Union built more than 400 industrial facilities, 100 agricultural enterprises, 140 educational institutions, and trained over 100,000 specialists. This has made a very significant contribution to the GDP of individual African countries, especially when you consider that these were the enterprises and specialists that formed the backbone of the modern production sector in many African states.
Following the collapse of the USSR, Russia temporarily lost sight of Africa in its foreign policy. In the events which have unfolded over recent years however, it is clear that countries in Africa have not forgotten the support the USSR provided in their struggle to achieve national independence,