Zimbabwe’s president hopes for Russia’s economic support
Emmerson Mnangagwa recalled that the history of bilateral cooperation is "very long"
MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. During the negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa expressed his hope that Russia would lend a helping hand to Zimbabwe as its senior partner.
"There is a very long history of cooperation between Zimbabwe and your great country," the leader of Zimbabwe addressed the Russian leader. He stated that Russia supported Zimbabwe during the struggle for independence and that Russia helped train the country’s military. In his speech, the African leader highlighted the need for economic cooperation between Russia and Zimbabwe, a "developing, third-world country." "You, as a senior brother, you can hold my hand as I try to develop Zimbabwe," Mnangagwa said.
"Zimbabwe has been suffering from sanctions imposed by the West for nearly twenty years," the president noted, adding that Russia stood by Zimbabwe "during the days of isolation.".
Russia, Zimbabwe inked license agreement on Darwendale platinum deposit
Furthermore, a MoU was signed between the African Export-Import Bank and the Russian-Zimbabwean Great Dyke Investments on provision of project financing by this bank of up to $192 mln
MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Russia and Zimbabwe signed a range of agreements for implementation of a joint project on development of the Darwendale platinum group metals deposit. Documents were signed in presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa after their talks.
In particular, a license agreement on mineral resources mining on this field was signed. Furthermore, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the African Export-Import Bank and the Russian-Zimbabwean Great Dyke Investments on provision of project financing by this bank in the amount up to $192 mln.
Great Dyke Investments also signed a memorandum with the African Financial Corporation on shareholding participation in the Darwendale project in the amount up to $75 mln. Furthermore, a memorandum was signed to secure political risks of Russia’s VTB Group participation in the project.
The Darwendale deposit is the second largest in the world. It comprises reserves of platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, nickel and copper.
google translate wrote:
Russian hands ON AFRICA
(by Andrea Gaspardo)
For a long time, Africa has been the continent that, together with Southeast Asia, has seen the greatest effort by the great powers to conquer new spaces of both economic and geopolitical influence. For a long time now, the main Western media and study centers have been focusing on the exponential growth of Chinese interests in Africa, in direct contrast to those long established by the former European colonizing powers and the United States of America. However, very few Western analysts have so far noted Russia's return in grand style to the great African geopolitical and geo-economic games.
Examined from a long-term perspective, this evolution has no economic logic at all and indeed promises to guarantee a perennial presence in Moscow in the "Black Continent". Unlike most nineteenth-century European powers, the Russian Empire has never owned colonies on African soil, limiting itself only to superficial economic and diplomatic relations with the colonies and protectorates created by the European powers on the spot, as well as with the Empire Ethiopian, the only African country not to be occupied by Europeans.
Things changed during the "Cold War", when the Soviet Union began a titanic effort to establish profitable relations with all national liberation movements and with independent newborns in order to attract those countries into the orbit of the "Eastern Bloc ". Indeed, the influence that Moscow had on the African continent between 1960 and 1991 was considered by most, greater than that of the United States and the former colonial powers put together.
The end of the "Cold War" and the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself led to the substantial end of any strategic Russian presence on African soil creating a vacuum that the US and Europe were happy to fill again. And yet, starting in 2003, we are witnessing an overwhelming return of Russia also to this continent, apparently so far from the traditional areas of interest of Russian geopolitics.
In the early days it was a "muted" return, mainly by re-establishing limited economic and military relations with a small number of formerly close allies. After the "crisis of Ukraine" and the beginning of the Russian intervention in Syria, however, the process has undergone an abrupt acceleration so as to now interest the whole continent (with a particular focus on a dozen major countries). Moreover, for the first time ever, it seems that the Russians are pursuing an integrated strategy which, in addition to benefiting the state and Russian companies, has the long-term objective of definitively stabilizing African countries from a security standpoint. so that they can then "march on their own" and then establish a partnership with Moscow that leads to shared political choices. From this point of view, the Muscovite approach to African affairs differs considerably from that of Western countries but also from that of China, aimed solely at the hoarding and exploitation of the continent's natural resources and without a clear vision with respect to the future role political of Africa.
Considering the plurality of its initiatives, Moscow has spent around $ 20 billion on the African continent, from 2003 to the present; a figure that would seem ridiculously low. Furthermore, with GDP growth of 1.5% and 1.8% in the three-year period 2018-2020, Russia cannot be considered a "large economic area" capable of creating synergies with Africa market such as to remove the African masses from their condition of poverty. However, what the African elites really care about is the ability of the Russians to "export security" and contribute to the stabilization of conflicts on the African continent to allow them to focus on domestic economic development plans. In other words: a sort of replica of the role that Russia has excellently played in Syria.
Certainly, apart from geopolitics, the Russian state (and its various "informal" extensions) also expect a certain economic return from such "operations" in such a way that they can at least "self-finance" themselves, but this, for a vast and very rich continent of natural resources of all kinds, is not a problem at all. Between 2005 and 2015, for example, the volume of investments and free trade between Russia and Africa grew by 185% and registered the greatest expansion especially in the energy and mining fields. Here, companies such as Gazprom, Lukoil, Renova, Rusal and Alrosa only billed about $ 10.5 billion in the first six months of 2018.
The big Russian giants are trying to diversify their interests by moving outside of normal oil and gas investments. For example, finalizing the construction of nuclear power plants in Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria and hydroelectric power stations in Angola, Namibia and Botswana, producing aluminum in Nigeria, developing the largest platinum field in the world in Zimbabwe and extracting uranium in Namibia.
In general, given that over 620 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity, the energy production and distribution sector should be the one with the greatest potential for growth and from which Russian companies can expect the greatest economic return. In the military and in the security field, Russia not only supplies arms to African states (already during the "Cold War" Africa was the second "consumer" of Soviet armaments after the Middle East) but now actively contributes to the reconstruction and the training of the armed and security forces of a plurality of African states. The most important cases, leaping to the headlines in recent months have been those of the Central African Republic and Sudan, where Russian military instructors probably placed in the private military and security company "Wagner", managed by Yevgeny Prigozhin (man with solids ties to the Kremlin), have completely retrained and re-equipped the men of the special forces and presidential guards of the two countries. The departments reformed by the Russians were then involved in anti-guerrilla operations with excellent results. The success achieved led to the establishment of other similar "military missions" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Chad while the presence of military instructors in South Sudan and Libya in support of the general Haftar's militias is not confirmed (but highly probable).
In addition to military aid, Moscow has also decided to "invest in the social sector" through humanitarian aid that can be quantified at around $ 400 million a year, 60% of which is distributed through international organizations such as the World Food Program and the UN agencies that deal with of refugees and 40% as direct bilateral aid to individual governments. The investment in the media field is also interesting, with the creation of newspapers, TV companies and so-called "new media" in particular in South Africa, Morocco and Madagascar. In the latter country, the Russians have thoroughly supported the re-election of Andry Rajoelina (former president for the first time between 2009 and 2014) by organizing his electoral campaign and arranging the free distribution of no less than two million copies every monthly of the main newspaper in the country.
Needless to say, Muscovite activism is not favorably viewed by Western chancelleries but not even by China itself, which thus sees its margins of predominance eroded. But the country that most seriously took the moves of Putin and his men was France, given that a good number of the countries in which Russian penetration efforts are concentrated are precisely those belonging to the so-called "Francophone Africa" and which are treated from Paris as exclusive "hunting grounds".
The country where the fiercest clash occurred was the aforementioned Central African Republic where, through the influence acquired on local secret services, almost all pro-French politicians were marginalized in a very short time and the country as a whole now comes defined as "controlled by Moscow for 83%".
Beyond the situation in the individual countries, what seems interesting is the effort made to try to give new momentum to the process of forming an African identity with investments in schools and academia to foster the growth of Africa as a cooperation block uniform. The latter initiative is at the base of the "Russia-Africa forum" which will be organized in Sochi in October of this year and which will see the presence of 50 African heads of state. The success of such an initiative would be a harbinger of new developments for cooperation between Russia and Africa, even at the geostrategic level, but we will only see these hypothetical scenarios in the future.
https://tass.com/economy/1074520Russian energy companies considering projects in Mozambique — official
Mozambique has a range of competitive climatic and geopolitical advantages, the official said
MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. Russians majors, with Rosneft, Rosseti and Inter RAO-Export among them, are exploring opportunities of joint projects with Mozambique, head of the Federal Agency for Mineral Resources (Rosnedra) Evgeni Kiselev said on Wednesday.
Mozambique has a range of competitive climatic and geopolitical advantages, the official said.
"Natural gas projects have a very convenient location. Gas reserves in Mozambique are vast. The geopolitical position make possible to reliably develop gas transport systems. South Africa and Zimbabwe, which are among major consumers of energy resources in Africa, are located nearby," Kiselev said.
Gold and phosphate deposits are also present in the country, he noted. Projects in coal and iron ore mining are implemented, Kiselev added.
Russian, Angolan top diplomats to discuss conflicts in Africa
Sergey Lavrov and Manuel Domingos Augusto will exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual importance
MOSCOW, August 26. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Angolan counterpart Manuel Domingos Augusto will hold talks in Moscow on Monday to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries and ways to resolve conflicts in Africa, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The two ministers will exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual importance, focusing on ways to resolve crises in Africa’s trouble spots, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Somalia," the statement reads.
The top diplomats will pay special attention to trade, economic, investment and mining cooperation between Russia and Angola, as well as to business ties between the two countries’ regions. In addition, they will also discuss preparations for the Russia - Africa Summit scheduled to take place in Sochi in October.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two countries maintain meaningful political dialogue based on "similar views of global processes and similar approaches to forming a fair world order, commitment to the primacy of international law and the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states." Russia and Angola also closely cooperate within the United Nations and on other international platforms, the ministry added.
Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the first Russia-Africa Summit on October 24. The leaders of more than 50 countries of the region have been invited, 35 of whom have confirmed their participation. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russian and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, which is presiding over the African Union in 2019, will co-chair the summit.
If you think what Putin did in the Middle East is impressive, prepare yourself for what is to come vis-a-vis Africa.
Putin: Russia ready to engage in civilized competition for cooperation with Africa
GarryB wrote:Russian and Chinese investment and trade with South Africa will be good for all involved... trade with no strings attached is what Africa needs to develop and grow...
GarryB wrote:This is off topic, but are you saying China is working with the US to create its own panzy "yes" states, like those countries you mention the US already has?