Much has been talked about how Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has forced a global realignment and how Africa’s geo-strategic importance has skyrocketed in recent times. Ever since the Ukraine war, all the major powers have started a scramble for Africa.
However, as the West tries to woo African countries to get them on its side, many African countries have been swept by an unprecedented anti-West sentiment.
This growing anti-West sentiment coupled with Russian mercenary group Wagner’s increasing footprint in the African continent has meant doom for the US and Europe’s Africa policy. It has also forced a major Western power such as France to withdraw its nine-year long military intervention in Mali.
What shocked the West is that France’s geopolitical debacle hasn’t stopped with just Mali. The Central African Republic and more recently Burkina Faso has also turned away from France.
The Western military mission’s utter failure to combat the insurgency issue in Africa, which became even worse, was one of the primary factors of diminishing Western credibility in the African continent.
With West’s failure, African countries turned to Russian Wagner to deal with the insurgents.
In addition to this, it has been observed how the West has mostly played catch-up with Russia’s geopolitical moves. Thus, it became abundantly clear that despite the best attempts by the West to counter Wagner, it miserably failed to achieve its objectives.
Now, with nothing but failures to show on its side, the West seems to have understood that it needs to re-invent its Africa policy to stay geopolitically relevant in the continent.
We have seen recently, France announcing its new “Africa strategy”.
The French President Macron recently vowed to reduce the French troops in Africa under a “new security partnership” and to roll out more ambitious economic policies in a bid to boost France’s waning influence in the continent.
Now, another European country Germany has also followed suit and has relaunched its Africa strategy.
As per a report, Christoph Kannengiesser, CEO of the Berlin-based German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein), has told The Africa Report that German businesses have long overlooked the continent in favour of lucrative markets elsewhere. But rising tensions with Moscow and Beijing have forced a rethink and put the region in a new, positive light.
Germany has been longing for new engagements with Africa for sometime now.
It has been planning a new strategy in Africa to compete with Russia and China. Now, when it has become clearly evident that the West is failing to counter Russia militarily, it is now focusing on more ambitious economic engagements as a last resort to secure its interests in the geopolitically important African continent. However, will Africa take the bait and get along with the West this time, only time will tell.