Wed. Sep 20th, 2023

Navigating the Opportunities and Challenges of a Changing Global Landscape
by Lenny “Rainbow” Ace

Recently, Africa has been gaining increasing attention on the global stage. The continent, which has long been considered a peripheral player in international affairs, is now being seen as a key player in the global political and economic landscape. This shift in perception is driven by several factors, including the continent’s rapidly growing population, its vast natural resources, and the potential for economic development that this population growth presents. As a result, countries and organizations from around the world are seeking to deepen their engagement with Africa and to build stronger relationships with African countries. This increased attention is both an opportunity and a challenge for Africa and the international community, as it presents both opportunities for growth and development and the potential for new conflicts and challenges.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov embarked on a multifaceted visit to various African countries. The tour began in South Africa and will continue on to Eswatini, Botswana, Angola, Tunisia, Mauritania, Algeria, and Morocco. However, an official agenda for the visit has not been released for security reasons.

Concurrently, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang is also making a visit to Africa. Both Russia and China share a number of contacts and relationships in the continent, but there is also a competitive dimension to their projection in Africa.

Latterly, several high-ranking U.S. officials have visited the African continent. These visits include Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland. These appointments are a continuation of the summit on Africa hosted by the White House in December, which put into action the initiatives discussed at the summit

A continent at a crossroads

In a late interview with Radio Vaticana, former EU Commission President Romano Prodi, who has a deep understanding of the African continent through his work as the head of the United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peacekeeping and the founder of the “Foundation for Cooperation for Peoples”, noted that Africa has the potential to become “the center of the world.” However, he also highlighted the importance of deciding whether this will be a positive or negative development for the continent and the world as a whole.

In terms of immediate future prospects, Africa will continue to be a major focus of global powers seeking to increase their presence and influence on the continent. Countries such as Russia and China have already been expanding their footprint in Africa through trade deals, infrastructure projects, and military cooperation, and it is likely that this trend will continue in the short term.

However, it is also important to consider the potential risks and challenges that come with this increased attention on Africa. The continent is already facing a number of ongoing conflicts, political instability, and economic challenges, and there is a risk that these problems could be exacerbated by outside actors pursuing their own interests.

In order to ensure that Africa becomes “the center of development” rather than “the center of tragedy,” it will be crucial for the international community to work together to support the continent’s economic and social development, and to address the underlying causes of conflict and instability. This can be done through a more coordinated and inclusive approach to global governance and by supporting the efforts of African countries to build more peaceful, prosperous, and just societies.

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author.
They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the AMeAR|News, R2iNTEL or its members.

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