War in Ukraine: Perspectives and Key Responses for Food Security in Africa

On April 20, 2022, STRATEGIES! held the first in a series of talks on “The War in Ukraine and the Need for a Functional State in Africa”. Due to the importance of the impact of the Ukraine War on African agriculture, it was important to kick off the round of discussions with a focus on food security.

To frame the discussion, STRATEGIES! presented Africa Food and the War on Ukraine

Our resources persons

Following this framing, the discussion was kicked off by three resources persons from the African private sector.

Theo de Jager Executive Director, Southern African Agri Initiative and President of the World Farmers Organization
Worlali Senyo Head of Corporate Services, Farmerline Ltd Ghana
Bertrand Foffe Managing Director, Jangolo – Agritech Entrepreneur

Participation

About 100 people participated in the discussion across three different social media platforms coming from at least 10  African countries and representing farmers, agriculture technicians, policy makers and consumers.

Key ideas from the discussion

Hope and Dynamism 

Despite being in a food, energy and financing crisis, this is a moment for Africa to do radical thinking and revolutionize food. Panelists and participants all see this moment as a challenge that has created opportunity for quantum change in African agriculture.

Structural and Systemic Solutions

While it is urgent and necessary to respond to the needs of the 281.6 million people who are facing hunger on the continent with emergency and humanitarian aid, it is absolutely essential to define structural and systemic solutions that will build strong agricultural systems for Africa in the long term, while doing so. Some of these systemic solutions include:

  • Financing – Rethinking how Africa mobilizes financing for agriculture. Is it time for an African Agriculture Bank that connects private sector investment directly to farmers and agripreneurs? Can we use technology to capture financing that is largely in the informal sector?
  • Inputs – Building upon the current big and small initiatives to resolve the challenge of fertilizer supply. The Nigerian initiative of building a fertilizer production plant is interesting and should be looked at from at least a regional and perhaps a continental perspective. Governments need to link to this private sector initiative to their strategies. In Cameroon, Ghana and many other countries, there are successful small initiatives to produce and distribute organic fertilizer. This is the time to bring these initiatives to scale with financing and technical know-how.
  • Logistics – This was a major focus of the discussion. Getting food from production centers to urban markets remains one of Africa’s key challenges. As crisis response is rolled out, it will be important to address the structural challenge of transportation including road, rail and air transport. Logistics for managing post-harvest are also a challenge. Building warehouses, cold stores and other storage facilities is a priority.
  • Technology – The importance of data and technology in revolutionizing African agriculture is clear. Collecting data on the millions of actors in the value chain, using technology to provide market and climate information, connecting farmers and agripreneurs to financing are just some of the ways in which technology can enable Africa to leapfrog its agriculture development.
The Hidden Middle

Providing multi-faceted strategic support to actors throughout the agriculture value chain who are already producing, transforming and distributing, is key. Thousands of small agriculture businesses throughout Africa have a proven business model. They need linkages to research, financing and markets. The opportunity in this moment of crisis is to support and scale such businesses.

Women and Youth

Women and Youth are the majority in the agriculture value chain.  They are amongst those innovating and creating successful business models.  They remain amongst those who have the least access to resources and support. Women and Youth are also the majority among the most vulnerable populations. As crisis response is rolled out, it will be important to address the structural issues of access to land, training, financing and markets that are stopping these key groups from reaping the full benefits from their roles in agriculture value chains.

Accountability

In this moment when crisis response will mean that large amounts of funds will be managed by African States, the systems of accountability for these funds are urgent and of utmost importance. African citizens need accountability for the funds which are being spent in their name by both African States and donors. Putting into place citizen monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, conditioning funds to performance and other key elements of accountability must be addressed.

The Functional State

The presumption in all development strategies is that there is a functional state, capable of delivering the strategies designed. As a company, STRATEGIES! posits that this presumption belies the actual situation on the ground. In Africa, functional states that are present, ensure security and sustainability, then provide hope to the population are a minority. Analyzing the functionality of the State, integrating the strengthening of the state as a fundamental part of development strategies is an imperative for implementing solutions that resolve the decades-old structural problems in agriculture and other key areas of development.

Some provocative questions closed this discussion and are lead the way Talk 2.

Next conversation…

Can we imagine:

  • An African Union where voting and participation rights are conditioned by performance on key indicators such as access to water, kilometers of road built or reduction of the food import bill?
  • IMF and World Bank loans conditioned on performance and accountability and integrating strengthening the functionality of the state as an essential component of these loans?
  • Systematic analysis of the Functionality of the State at the start of all development programs?

The conversation has started.

Let us continue together on May 4, 2022 during Talk 2 – The War in Ukraine: Political and Security Perspectives and Responses for Africa.

Talk to you soon!

OFFRE DE STAGE

STRATEGIES ! est un cabinet de conseil spécialisé en Leadership & Management, offrant ses services aux organisations de développement international, ainsi qu’aux entreprises privées dans les domaines suivants :
● Développement organisationnel
● Planification stratégique et opérationnelle
● Conception, suivi et évaluation des projets,
● Conceptualisation et animation d’ateliers et de conférences internationales, etc.
● La production des notes d’analyse et des études sur des questions de Paix et Sécurité, Démocratie & Bonne Gouvernance ainsi que sur des Questions Economiques.

Après 27 ans d’expérience, STRATEGIES ! souhaite consolider son positionnement international et accroître sa visibilité sur ses thématiques relevant de son expertise. Dans cette optique :
STRATEGIES ! Recrute deux (02) stagiaires pour contribuer à la production de son produit “MACRO – TRENDS FOR AFRICA”

⮚ Rôles et responsabilités :
Sous la supervision des consultants.es seniors de STRATEGIES ! :

  • Effectuer des recherches en ligne nécessaires à la préparation et à l’animation des ateliers et des conférences internationales.
  • Effectuer des revues documentaire (Journaux, Articles, Revue, etc)
  • Contribuer à élaborer des notes de synthèse, des notes d’informations et des notes d’analyse.
  • Contribuer au montage des bases de données d’experts et de sources d’informations pertinentes pour la collecte et le traitement d’informations
  • Contribuer au montage et à la production contenus sur différents formats (Word & Power Point).

⮚ Compétence requise :
Les candidats doivent démontrer :

  • Une bonne culture générale sur les questions politiques, économiques, sécuritaires, humanitaires du Cameroun, de l’Afrique et du Monde.
  • Une connaissance de base de l’outil informatique
  • Une bonne capacité à effectuer des recherches sur internet
  • Une bonne capacité à faire des synthèses des recherches
  • Une capacité à travailler sous pression.
  • Une grande capacité de concentration.
  • Une grande capacité d’écoute.

Ce serait un atout :

  • D’avoir fait régulièrement des exposés dans le cadre scolaire ou académique.
  • D’avoir rédigé des rapports de stage et / ou un mémoire.
  • D’écrire des articles sur un blog ou dans des médias.
  • De connaitre les techniques de recherche en ligne.
  • De connaitre le référencement des données collectées (Identification et indication des sources les plus pertinentes)
  • D’avoir une bonne connaissance des médias sociaux : Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

⮚ Compétences et expérience requises
Qualifications académiques/éducation :

  • Un diplôme d’études supérieures en sciences humaines ou en sciences sociales est un atout.
  • Tous les candidats.es doivent avoir un diplôme de l’enseignement supérieur.
  • Ceux et celles qui n’en n’ont pas devront justifier une capacité à faire le travail de recherche en ligne à travers d’anciens travaux.

Compétences linguistiques :
● La maîtrise de l’anglais ou du français est requise (à l’écrit et à l’oral) – l’accent étant mis sur l’anglais.

➢ Modalités de travail

  • Il n’est pas nécessaire de travailler physiquement dans les bureaux de STRATEGIES ! ou dans la ville de Douala.
  • Une présence physique sera quelques fois nécessaire mais n’est pas indispensable la plupart du temps.

➢ Documents à soumettre

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • 3 échantillons différents de rédaction montrant la variété du style et du public cible
  • Un ou deux exemples de pages en ligne ou de communautés que vous gérez.

Important :
S’il y a de nombreux candidats.es, un test sera organisé pour tester :
• Les capacités basiques de recherche et de synthèse
• Les compétences informatiques

Le stage pourra être sanctionné par un recrutement.

Les candidatures doivent être soumises au plus tard le mercredi 20 avril2022 à 18h00 à l’adresse suivante: strategiesrecrutement@gmail.com

Note : Seules les candidatures reçues par courriel et remplissant les conditions requises seront prises en considération.

INTERNSHIP OFFER

STRATEGIES! is a consulting firm specialised in Leadership & Management, offering its services
to international development organisations and private companies in the following areas

  • Organisational development
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Project design, monitoring and evaluation,
  • Conceptualisation and facilitation of international workshops and conferences, etc.
  • The production of analytical notes and studies on Peace and Security, Democracy & Good
    Governance and Economic issues.

After 27 years of experience, STRATEGIES! wishes to consolidate its international positioning and
increase its visibility on the themes of its expertise. With this in mind :
STRATEGIES! is recruiting two (02) interns to contribute to the production of its product “MACRO –
TRENDS FOR AFRICA

⮚ Roles and responsibilities :
Under the supervision of STRATEGIES senior consultants, the intern will:

  • Conduct online research necessary for the preparation and facilitation of workshops and
    international conferences.
  • Conduct literature reviews (Newspapers, Articles, Journals, etc)
  • Contribute to the preparation of briefing notes, information notes and analysis notes.
  • Contribute to the setting up of databases of experts and relevant information sources for the
    collection and processing of information
  • Contribute to the editing and production of content in different formats (Word & Power
    Point).

⮚ Competence required :
Applicants must demonstrate :

  • A good general knowledge of political, economic, security and humanitarian issues in
    Cameroon, Africa and the world.
  • A basic knowledge of computer tools
  • Good internet research skills
  • A good ability to synthesize research
  • An ability to work under pressure.
  • A high level of concentration.
  • A great ability to listen.

This would be an asset:

  • To have given regular presentations in school or academic settings.
  • To have written internship reports and/or a dissertation.
  • Write articles on a blog or in the media.
  • To be familiar with online search techniques.
  • To know the referencing of the data collected (identification and indication of the most
    relevant sources)
  • Have a good knowledge of social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

⮚ Skills and experience required
Academic/educational qualifications :

  • A postgraduate degree in the human and social sciences is an asset.
  • All candidates must have a degree in higher education.
  • Those who do not have one will have to demonstrate an ability to do the research work online through previous work.

Language skills :

  • Fluency in English or French is required (written and spoken) – with an emphasis on English.

➢ Working arrangements

  • It is not necessary to work physically at STRATEGIES! office or in the city of Douala.
  • A physical presence will sometimes be necessary but is not essential most of the time.

➢ Documents to be submitted

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • 3 different writing samples showing the variety of style and target audience
  • One or two examples of online pages or communities that you manage.

Important:
If there are many applicants, a test will be organised to test :
• Basic research and synthesis skills
• Computer skills

The internship may lead to recruitment.

Applications must be submitted by Wednesday 20 April 2022 at 6 PM to the following address
strategiesrecruitment@gmail.com
Note: Only applications received by email and meeting the requirements will be considered.

Guerre en Ukraine : Deux choses sont vraies pour les Africains

Position de l’Afrique sur la guerre en Ukraine

Nous condamnons toute agression militaire d’un État par un autre.

Nous restons non alignés dans un combat entre superpuissances et nations historiquement impérialistes.

Ces deux choses sont vraies.

Le 2 mars 2022, alors que l’ONU votait sa résolution visant à condamner l’invasion de l’Ukraine par la Russie, le vote de l’Afrique en a surpris plus d’un, y compris ses propres citoyens. 28 pays ont voté pour condamner l’invasion de la Russie par l’Ukraine, 1 a voté contre, 17 pays se sont abstenus et 8 autres n’ont pas voté du tout. Cette réponse mesurée semble coïncider avec l’opinion populaire en Afrique.  Cela n’a pas toujours été le cas lorsque les gouvernements africains votent à New York.

Qu’est-ce qui explique cette réponse réfléchie dans l’opinion publique africaine ?  Plusieurs facteurs.

D’une part

Il y a peu d’hésitation en Afrique sur le fait qu’aucune nation ne devrait utiliser sa puissance militaire pour en envahir une autre. La Russie a tort d’envahir l’Ukraine.  Peu d’Africains le remettent en question.

Il y a de la sympathie pour le peuple ukrainien qui, du jour au lendemain, s’est retrouvé, sans aucune provocation, bombardé et est maintenant déplacé et réfugié, victime de la guerre.  Trop d’Africains connaissent les ravages de la guerre sur les individus et les familles. Leur sympathie pour le peuple ukrainien est incontestable.

Alors pourquoi cette réponse mitigée ?

Position de l’Afrique sur la guerre en Ukraine

L’atténuation, la réflexion et les réponses équivoques se rapportent à ce que de nombreux Africains perçoivent comme une guerre entre la Russie et l’Occident, pour laquelle l’Ukraine paie malheureusement un prix extrêmement élevé.  Elles ont trait à la longue et difficile histoire de l’Afrique avec l’Occident, qui n’a jamais été abordée, et à la démonstration, une fois de plus, d’une culture de suprématie blanche dont l’Occident fait preuve dans presque toutes ses interactions avec le reste du monde.

Une longue histoire non résolue

De l’esclavage au colonialisme et plus récemment au néocolonialisme, les pays africains ont été envahis à maintes reprises par l’Occident, entraînant généralement la mort, la destruction et le chaos pendant des décennies.  L’Europe et les États-Unis ont systématiquement refusé de reconnaître leur agression historique sur les États africains et ont plutôt cherché à la justifier.

Pour ne citer que quelques exemples, il y a toujours un débat ouvert en France sur les ” bienfaits ” de la colonisation, le parlement ayant introduit une loi incluant cette phrase en 2005 et les écoliers ont été amené à énumérer ces ” bienfaits ” dans un exercice en classe en 2019.

L’invasion par les États-Unis d’une Libye, qui ne représentait aucune menace pour l’Occident, en 2011, reste une pilule difficile à avaler pour de nombreux Africains. Les Américains ont envahi et sont partis. Les Africains du Niger, du Tchad, du Nigeria, du Cameroun et d’autres pays ont dû gérer les conséquences de la déstabilisation régionale qui, de l’avis de la plupart des experts, est l’un des facteurs ayant contribué à la montée des groupes armés sur le continent, notamment le meurtrier Boko Haram. On peut se demander ce qui se serait passé si Khadaffi, incontestablement un dictateur, était resté au pouvoir.  C’est du domaine de l’inconnu.  Ce qui est certain, c’est que l’invasion menée par les États-Unis s’est soldée par une catastrophe ou un “s-t show”, comme l’a décrit Barack Obama lui-même.

Personne ne semble demander aux États-Unis et à leurs alliés de l’OTAN de rendre des comptes pour cette invasion non provoquée. L’hésitation de nombreux Africains à condamner la Russie tient au fait qu’une telle condamnation semble établir un double standard pour le monde.  L’invasion est acceptable lorsqu’elle est commise par l’Occident et inacceptable lorsqu’elle est commise par n’importe qui d’autre.

L’amitié de l’Occident avec les dictateurs africains

D’aussi loin que l’on se souvienne, les dictateurs africains ont dansé avec l’Occident. Des présidents qui ont changé les constitutions pour se maintenir à la tête de leur pays pendant des décennies, dont la gouvernance a conduit à des conflits armés qui génèrent des déplacements de leurs citoyens et des souffrances indicibles sur leurs populations sont restés amis des pays de l’OTAN, faisant souvent de bonnes affaires ensemble au détriment des citoyens africains.  L’une des principales condamnations de Poutine est qu’il est un dictateur déséquilibré.  La plupart des Africains seraient d’accord, car ils n’en connaissent que trop bien les signes révélateurs. Pour le citoyen africain moyen, il est difficile de comprendre pourquoi le dictateur russe devrait être sanctionné pour ses actes de violence et de destruction, alors que de nombreux dictateurs africains, qui exercent la même violence et la même destruction sur leurs vies, vont ensuite dîner avec les pays mêmes qui demandent à condamner Poutine aujourd’hui. Est-ce que les vies africaines ne comptent pas lorsqu’elles sont détruites par des dictateurs ?

L’expression aiguë de la suprématie blanche

Les politiciens, les médias et les citoyens occidentaux n’ont cessé de l’exprimer depuis le premier jour de l’invasion russe. Ces vies, ce pays, cette nation doivent être sauvés.  Pourquoi ? Parce qu’ils sont “comme nous”. Dans sa mobilisation des ressources, dans sa course folle pour appliquer des sanctions parfois sans tenir compte de la loi, dans son traitement des réfugiés, l’Occident n’a cessé d’exprimer tout au long de cette crise que les vies des Blancs comptent davantage. À l’heure actuelle, alors que les réfugiés d’Afrique et du Moyen-Orient vivent dans la misère des camps en Afrique du Nord et dans certains pays européens en raison de la politique européenne à l’égard des immigrants, alors que des pays comme les États-Unis rapatrient des réfugiés dans des pays où ils risquent d’être emprisonnés, voire tués, ces mêmes pays occidentaux demandent à leurs citoyens d’ouvrir leurs foyers aux réfugiés ukrainiens, immédiatement.  Dans certaines parties de l’Europe, les migrants attendent depuis des années un logement. On ne sait pas quel sera leur sort alors que les réfugiés ukrainiens sautent la queue et sont logés instantanément.

Lorsqu’ils sont confrontés à des êtres humains fuyant la guerre et les conflits, l’Europe et les États-Unis continuent de démontrer clairement qu’ils traiteront les êtres humains différemment et les facteurs indéniables de différenciation semblent être la race et la culture.

La réticence de l’Afrique à s’aligner sans réserve sur l’Occident a peu à voir avec l’Ukraine et beaucoup à voir avec son histoire avec l’Europe et les États-Unis, ainsi qu’avec la manière dont, même en ce moment où la crise ne nous concerne pas, notre humanité est niée et réfutée.

La politique et l’économie

Le fait que sur 54 pays, seule l’Érythrée ait voté contre la motion de condamnation de la Russie est peut-être le plus révélateur.  Et ce, malgré le fait que de nombreux pays africains ont des liens historiques, politiques et économiques avec la Russie.  Au cours des dix dernières années, la Russie a renouvelé son offensive diplomatique en Afrique.  Des pays comme la République centrafricaine, le Soudan et le Mali ont des liens militaires indiscutables avec la Russie et, dans le cas de la RCA, en dépendent même pour leur sécurité fondamentale.  Pourtant, ces pays n’ont pas voté pour soutenir son invasion de l’Ukraine.  Le message est clair.  Il n’est pas dans l’intérêt des non-superpuissances que sont les pays africains de soutenir l’invasion militaire non provoquée d’un pays par un autre sous quelque prétexte que ce soit.  Les pays africains ont choisi de ne pas se ranger du côté de la Russie, malgré leur dépendance militaire et leur dépendance économique. De nombreux pays africains dépendent du blé russe pour leur pain quotidien.

L’Afrique doit aller plus loin

Au-delà du vote, l’Afrique doit saisir ce moment de crise pour opérer et pousser à des changements tant au niveau économique que politique.  L’invasion de l’Ukraine par la Russie reconfigure le monde et sa géopolitique.  Il est nécessaire que l’Afrique agisse de manière proactive pour ses propres intérêts et pour ceux du monde entier.

Au niveau économique :

Dans la foulée de la crise du Covid-19, la guerre en Ukraine démontre avec acuité la nécessité pour l’Afrique de se concentrer sur sa sécurité alimentaire.  Les crises sont l’occasion d’opérer des changements puissants.  Manioc, patate douce, soja, pois chiche, plantain et plus encore.  L’Afrique produit de multiples farines qui peuvent remplacer le blé.  Cela serait très bénéfique pour la nutrition, la sécurité alimentaire et les économies africaines.  L’impact sur la pauvreté serait considérable.  Cependant, cette substitution nécessite une action rapide et radicale des gouvernements pour stimuler la production, améliorer le transport et permettre la transformation.  Il faut que les gouvernements mobilisent le secteur privé, les institutions de recherche, les organisations d’agriculteurs, les jeunes et les femmes agriculteurs pour prendre des décisions stratégiques et les mettre en œuvre rapidement.

L’inflation des prix des aliments de base entraîne des troubles sociaux.  La fenêtre d’action des gouvernements africains est petite et se referme.  Il s’agit toutefois d’une fenêtre d’opportunité certaine. Les gouvernements africains qui la saisiront feront un grand pas en avant pour assurer la stabilité de leurs pays et une croissance à multiples facettes pour leurs citoyens.

Quelques pays africains sont en mesure de saisir les opportunités offertes par la crise énergétique qui s’est aggravée depuis l’invasion de l’Ukraine. L’Algérie est bien placée pour le faire, mais le Mozambique, le Nigeria et le Sénégal ont également le potentiel pour saisir ce moment.  Le moment est également venu pour l’Afrique d’accélérer ses propres efforts en matière d’efficacité et de sécurité énergétiques. Des plans vieux de plusieurs années pour l’énergie verte, les projets de gaz naturel à grande échelle et la décentralisation de la fourniture d’énergie doivent tous entrer dans des phases de mise en œuvre maintenant.

Au niveau politique :

Plus que toute autre chose, l’invasion de l’Ukraine par la Russie démontre que les institutions internationales, censées maintenir la paix dans le monde et garantir les droits fondamentaux de chaque être humain, ont échoué depuis un certain temps déjà.  Personne ne le sait mieux que les citoyens africains. Pendant des décennies, des institutions telles que le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies et la Commission des droits de l’homme des Nations unies ont été incapables d’aider l’Afrique à trouver des solutions à ses crises violentes profondes et souvent cycliques.

L’invasion d’un pays par un autre est une crise qui concerne le monde entier.  L’effusion de soutien aux réfugiés ukrainiens est la façon dont les réfugiés devraient être traités chaque fois que des êtres humains se retrouvent sous le coup d’une attaque violente. La pléthore de sanctions qui a été déclenchée contre Poutine, devrait être sur la table pour chaque dictateur qui atteint le point de tuer et de mettre en danger des vies humaines.

La position non alignée de l’Afrique la place dans une position unique pour initier la conversation sur la façon dont le monde doit réagir à la violence d’État, aux réfugiés et aux violations flagrantes des droits de l’homme à partir de maintenant.  La réaction de l’Occident en Ukraine est un pas dans la bonne direction.  Elle doit être examinée comme un précédent et la communauté mondiale doit déterminer comment elle utilisera cette expérience pour assurer la sécurité des êtres humains sur toute la planète de manière équitable.

Étant donné l’état actuel de la gouvernance en Afrique, cette conversation ne peut être laissée aux gouvernements.  La société civile, les milieux d’affaires, la diaspora africaine, les mouvements populaires, les médias et les intellectuels africains doivent se mobiliser et mener ce débat.

L’un des moyens les plus importants de soutenir le peuple ukrainien est de veiller à ce que cette atrocité ne puisse plus jamais leur arriver, ni à aucun autre peuple dans le monde, quelle que soit sa race, sa religion ou sa culture.

 

Source 

https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2019/03/01/97001-20190301FILWWW00304-un-exercice-sur-les-bienfaits-de-la-colonisation-en-cm2-cree-le-malaise.php

War in Ukraine: Two things are true for Africans

We condemn military aggression of one state on another.

We remain non-aligned in a fight between super-powers and historically imperialistic nations.

These two things are true.

On March 2, 2022 as the UN voted on its resolution to condemn the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Africa’s vote surprised more than one, including its own citizens. 28 countries voted to condemn the invasion of Russia by Ukraine, 1 voted against, 17 countries abstained, and 8 others did not vote at all. This measured response seemed to coincide with popular opinion in Africa.  This has not always been the case when African governments vote in New York.

What explains this pondered response in African public opinion?  Several factors.

On the one hand

There is little hesitation in Africa about the fact that no nation should use its military might to invade another. Russia is wrong to invade Ukraine.  Few Africans question that.

There is sympathy for the Ukrainian people who from one day to the next found themselves, without any provocation whatsoever, being bombed and are now displaced and refugee victims of war.  Too many Africans know the ravages of war on individuals and families. Their sympathy with the people of Ukraine is unquestionable.

So why the mitigated response?

The mitigation, ponderation and equivocal responses pertain to what many Africans perceive as a war between Russia and the West for which Ukraine is unfortunately paying an extremely high price.  They pertain to Africa’s long, difficult history with the West that has never been addressed, and they pertain to a demonstration once again of a culture of white supremacy that is demonstrated by the West in almost every interaction with the rest of the world.

A long unresolved history

From slavery to colonialism and more recently neo-colonialism, African countries have been invaded repeatedly by the West, usually resulting in death, destruction and mayhem for decades.  Europe and the United States have systematically refused to acknowledge their historical aggression on African states and have rather sought to justify it.

To cite just a few examples, there is still open debate in France on the “benefits” of colonization with parliament introducing a law including this phrase in 2005 and schoolchildren being taught to list these ‘benefits’ in a classroom exercise in 2019.

The U.S.-led invasion of a Libya, which posed no threat to the West, in 2011 remains a hard pill to swallow for many Africans. Americans invaded and left. Africans from Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon and more have had to manage the aftermath of regional destabilization which most experts agree is one of the contributing factors to the rise of armed groups on the continent, including the murderous Boko Haram. It is debatable what would have happened had Khadaffi, unquestionably a dictator, remained in power.  That is in the realm of the unknown.  What is fact is the U.S. led invasion which ended in catastrophe or a “s—t show” as described by Barack Obama himself.

No one seems to be asking the U.S. and its NATO allies to be accountable for this unprovoked invasion. The hesitation of many Africans to condemn Russia lies in the fact that such a condemnation seems to establish a double standard for the world.  Invasion is acceptable when committed by the West and unacceptable when committed by anyone else.

The West’s Friendliness with African Dictators

For as long as we can remember, African dictators have danced with the West. Presidents who have changed constitutions to maintain themselves at the head of their countries for decades, whose governance has led to armed conflicts that generate displacement of their citizens and untold suffering on their populations have remained friends of NATO countries, often doing good business together at the expense of African citizens.  One of the key condemnations of Putin is that he is an unhinged dictator.  Most Africans would agree, being all too familiar with the telltale signs. For the average African citizen, it is difficult to understand why Russia’s dictator should be sanctioned for violence and destruction when many of African dictators who wreak the same violence and destruction on their lives, go on to wine and dine with the very countries asking to condemn Putin today. Is it that African lives do not matter when they are destroyed by dictators?

The acute expression of white supremacy

Western politicians, media and citizens have continued to express it since the first day of the Russian invasion. These lives, this country, this nation is to be saved.  Why? Because they are “like us”. In its mobilization of resources, in its mad rush to apply sanctions sometimes without regard for the law, in its treatment of refugees, the West has expressed repeatedly throughout this crisis that white lives matter more. Currently, as refugees from Africa and the Middle East live in the squalor of camps in North Africa and some European countries due to Europe’s policy towards immigrants, as countries like the U.S. repatriate refugees back home to countries where they risk imprisonment and possibly even death; these same Western countries are asking their citizens to open their homes to Ukrainian refugees, immediately.  In some parts of Europe migrants have been waiting for years for housing, it remains unclear what their fate will be as Ukrainian refugees jump the queue and are housed instantaneously.

When faced with human beings fleeing war and conflict, Europe and the U.S. continue to demonstrate clearly that they will treat human beings differently and the undeniable factors of differentiation seem to be race and culture.

Africa’s unwillingness to align itself wholeheartedly with the West has little to do with Ukraine and a lot to do with its history with Europe and the United States, as well as the way in which even in this moment where the crisis is not about us, our humanity is denied and refuted.

The politics and the economics

The fact that out of 54 countries, only Eritrea voted against the motion to condemn Russia is perhaps most telling.  This despite the fact that multiple African countries have historical, political and economic ties with Russia.  In the past 10 years Russia has renewed its diplomatic offensive in Africa.  Countries like Central African Republic, Sudan and Mali have indisputable military ties with Russia and in the case of CAR are even dependent on it for fundamental security.  Yet these countries did not vote to support its invasion of Ukraine.  The message is clear.  It is not in the interest of the non-superpowers that African nations are, to support unprovoked military invasion of one country by another under any pretext whatsoever.  African countries have chosen not to side with Russia despite military dependence and economic dependence. Multiple African countries depend on Russian wheat for their daily bread.

Africa must go further

Beyond the vote, Africa must seize this moment of crisis to make and push for changes at both economic and political levels.  The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is reconfiguring the world and its geopolitics.  It is necessary for Africa to proactively act for its own and for global interests.

At the economic level:

On the heels of the Covid-19 crisis, the Ukraine war acutely demonstrates the need for Africa to focus on its food security.  Crises are a moment to make powerful change.  Cassava, sweet potato, soybean, chickpea, plantain and more.  Africa produces multiple flours that can substitute wheat.  Doing so would greatly benefit African nutrition, food security and economies.  The impact on poverty would be substantial.  However, this substitution requires swift, radical action by governments to boost production, improve transportation and enable transformation.  It requires governments mobilizing the private sector, research institutions, farmers organizations, youth and women farmers to make strategic decisions and implement them quickly.

Inflation of basic food prices leads to social unrest.  The window for African governments to act is small and closing.  It is however a definite window of opportunity. African governments who seize it will take a major step in ensuring stability for their countries and multi-faceted growth for their citizens.

A few African countries are in a position to seize the opportunities offered by the energy crisis that has been deepened since the invasion of Ukraine. Algeria is well positioned to do so, but Mozambique, Nigeria and Senegal also have the potential to seize this moment.  It is also the time for Africa to accelerate its own drive for energy efficiency and energy security. Years old plans for green energy, large-scale natural gas projects and the decentralization of energy provision all need to enter implementation phases now.

At a political level:

More than anything else, the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrates that the international institutions meant to maintain world peace and guarantee the fundamental rights of every human, have been failing for quite some time now.  No one knows this better than African citizens. For decades institutions like the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Commission have been unable to assist Africa in finding solutions to its deep, often cyclical violent crises.

The invasion of a country by another is a crisis that concerns the entire world.  The outpouring of support for Ukrainian refugees is the way that refugees should be treated whenever human beings find themselves under violent attack. The plethora of sanctions that has been unleashed against Putin, should be on the table for every dictator who reaches the extent of killing and endangering human lives.

Africa’s non-aligned position places it in a unique position to initiate the conversation on how the world needs to react to state violence, refugees and gross violation of human rights from now on.  The West’s reaction to Ukraine is a step in the right direction.  It needs to be examined as precedent and the global community needs to determine how it will use this experience to ensure the safety and security of human beings around the planet in an equitable fashion.

Given the current state of governance in Africa today, this conversation cannot be left to governments.  Civil society, business communities, African Diaspora, grassroots movements, media and African intellectuals must step up and lead this debate.

One of the most important ways to support the Ukrainian people is to ensure that this atrocity cannot occur to them or any other people across the globe regardless of race, religion or culture, ever again.

Source

https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2019/03/01/97001-20190301FILWWW00304-un-exercice-sur-les-bienfaits-de-la-colonisation-en-cm2-cree-le-malaise.php

Fiche d’information sur l’Afrique, l’alimentation et la guerre en Ukraine

2020 – 2021 : L’Afrique était déjà en crise

  • En raison de la Covid-19, les prix globaux des denrées alimentaires augmentent depuis la mi-2020. Les facteurs clés sont : la perturbation des chaînes d’approvisionnement mondiales, les coûts de transport, les perturbations portuaires.
  • 281,6 millions de personnes sur le continent, soit plus d’un cinquième de la population, ont été confrontées à la faim en 2020, ce qui représente 46,3 millions de plus qu’en 2019.
  • Environ 44,4 % des personnes sous-alimentées sur le continent vivent en Afrique orientale, 26,7 % en Afrique occidentale, 20,3 % en Afrique centrale, 6,2 % en Afrique du Nord et 2,4 % en Afrique australe.
  • Les principaux facteurs d’insécurité alimentaire en Afrique sont les conflits, le changement climatique et les chocs économiques.

2022 : L’impact de la guerre en Ukraine

  • Au moins 25 pays africains importent 30 % de leur blé de Russie et d’Ukraine, et 15 d’entre eux en importent plus de 50 % de ces deux pays.
  • Les hausses de prix mondiales depuis l’invasion de l’Ukraine comprennent: le blé = 62%, le maïs = 36%, le soja = 29%, les engrais = 300%.
  • Les pays africains, comme la plupart des pays du monde, ont peu de marge de manœuvre budgétaire et travaillent avec des ressources réduites suite aux chocs économiques de la pandémie de Covid-19.

Faiblesses systémiques : La résilience de l’Afrique est faible

  • Seuls 24 % des Africains ont accès à l’eau potable, 570 millions d’Africains n’ont pas accès à l’électricité, les réseaux routiers ruraux sont médiocres et la connectivité internet reste à la traîne par rapport au reste du monde (22 %). Les systèmes de santé et d’éducation restent largement insuffisants pour répondre aux besoins du continent.
  • Ce manque de services de base, combiné à la marginalisation et à la violation des droits humains fondamentaux ont souvent conduit à des conflits. En 2020, 21,8 millions d’Africains ont été déplacés à l’intérieur de leur pays. Beaucoup d’entre eux sont issus des zones rurales agricoles. Les conflits sont très destructeurs pour la production agricole.

2022 : Ce que l’Afrique doit faire

La gestion de multiples chocs externes successifs exige une gouvernance forte, capable d’anticiper et de planifier, techniquement compétente pour élaborer et mettre en œuvre des politiques adaptées, responsable devant les citoyens et les autres parties prenantes de résultats mesurables.

À très court terme, les gouvernements africains doivent :

  • Protéger les personnes vulnérables. Des dizaines de millions de personnes connaissent déjà la faim ou sont sur le point de la connaître. Leurs besoins doivent être pris en compte immédiatement. En collaboration avec les organisations internationales, les gouvernements africains doivent identifier les populations les plus vulnérables, mettre en place des mécanismes de filet de sécurité et de protection sociale, puis mobiliser des ressources pour éviter le pire.
  • Comprendre que le long terme, c’est maintenant. Presque tous les pays africains disposent d’un programme national d’investissement dans l’agriculture ainsi que d’autres stratégies de développement rural. Il est temps d’accélérer la mise en œuvre.  Des infrastructures rurales aux mécanismes de commercialisation et de transformation, il existe des plans, des stratégies et des exemples de réussite éprouvés.  Les gouvernements africains doivent faire de l’agriculture la priorité n° 1 et assurer la gouvernance qui permet d’accroître la production, la commercialisation et la nutrition au niveau infranational. Le moyen de renforcer la résilience est de la traiter comme une urgence.
  • Intégrer qu’ils sont plus forts ensemble. L’Union africaine doit passer en mode d’urgence, sortir le Plan détaillé de développement de l’agriculture africaine (PDDAA) ainsi que la myriade d’autres stratégies continentales pour l’agriculture, décider des priorités à court terme, mobiliser des ressources pour celles-ci et aider les communautés économiques régionales (CER) et les pays à les mettre en œuvre. Le travail conceptuel a été fait.  Il est temps de le mettre en œuvre.
  • Innover. Les crises permettent des changements rapides et radicaux. La situation actuelle est une opportunité pour les gouvernements africains de prendre des programmes qui ont été couronnés de succès à un niveau micro et de les mettre à l’échelle pour avoir un impact. Le manioc, le pois chiche, le soja, le maïs, la patate douce et le plantain sont tous des substituts du blé. Les techniques de production et de transformation ont fait leurs preuves au niveau micro.  Les gouvernements doivent développer ces solutions, modifier les politiques et orienter les habitudes des consommateurs vers des produits de substitution cultivés localement.  Les techniques de conservation, de transformation, de production et de commercialisation existent toutes à des niveaux micro et ont fait leurs preuves. Les gouvernements doivent sélectionner les solutions éprouvées les mieux adaptées à leur contexte et les mettre en œuvre à grande échelle.
  • Mobiliser les ressources internes et externes. En temps de crise, les gens recherchent le leadership et travaillent ensemble alors qu’ils ne l’auraient peut-être pas fait en temps normal. Ils sont également disposés à adopter le changement plus rapidement. Les programmes agricoles à grande échelle pourraient permettre aux gouvernements africains d’exploiter l’énergie des femmes et des jeunes qui représentent une part importante de la main-d’œuvre agricole, dont 97,9 % travaillent de manière informelle. C’est le moment de mobiliser les agriculteurs, d’introduire de nouvelles technologies et de former à grande échelle. Les agriculteurs chercheront des solutions, les gouvernements doivent les leur fournir de manière à apporter un changement systémique et à transformer les systèmes alimentaires.

2022 -2023 : Ce que les partenaires de l’Afrique doivent faire

  • Mobiliser des ressources. Au niveau mondial, Ceres 2030 estime qu’un investissement supplémentaire de 14 milliards de dollars de la part des donateurs et de 19 milliards de dollars de la part des pays touchés pourrait être nécessaire en moyenne chaque année d’ici à 2030 pour:
    • Sortir 490 millions de personnes de la faim
    • Réduire la prévalence de la sous-alimentation en dessous de 3% dans tous les pays du monde.
    • Doubler les revenus de 545 millions de petits agriculteurs en moyenne.
    • Maintenir les émissions de gaz à effet de serre dans l’agriculture en dessous des engagements pris dans l’accord de Paris sur le climat.
  • Faire face simultanément aux urgences et exiger des solutions durables et systémiques. Des Etats fonctionnels sont essentiels pour transformer les systèmes alimentaires, renforcer la résilience et faire face aux urgences.  En temps de crise, comme lors de la pandémie de Covid-19, d’énormes quantités de ressources sont mises à la disposition des gouvernements très rapidement.  Si l’accès à ces ressources n’est pas conditionné par le fait que les gouvernements s’attaquent aux problèmes systémiques qui les ont conduits à la situation de crise, alors l’aide d’urgence peut simplement préparer le terrain pour la prochaine crise. Toute assistance doit s’attaquer aux problèmes systémiques qui rendront les gouvernements plus fonctionnels et plus résilients.

 

A propos des auteurs

Cette fiche est produite par le Cabinet STRATEGIES basé à Douala, au Cameroun. C’est un cabinet spécialisé en leadership et management qui délivre ses services en Afrique ainsi qu’en Europe et aux Etats-Unis. STRATEGIES ! accompagne les entreprises privées ainsi que les institutions publiques nationales et internationales. Il existe depuis 27 ans et est dirigé par Kah Walla.

 

Sources

  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/climate-and-people/ukraine-war-threatens-food-crisis-political-upheaval-across/
  2. https://reliefweb.int/report/world/africa-regional-overview-food-security-and-nutrition-2021
  3. https://www.voanews.com/a/ukraine-war-to-compound-hunger-poverty-in-africa-experts-say/6492430.html#:~:text=La%20Conférence%20de%20l’ONU%20sur%20le%20commerce, la moitié%20de%20ces%20deux%20pays.
  4. https://www.unwater.org/world-water-development-report-2019-leaving-no-one-behind/#:~:text=On%20a%20global%20scale%2C%20half,not%20shared%20with%20other%20holds.
  5. https://www.dw.com/en/can-africa-achieve-universal-internet-access-by-2030/a-59729090
  6. https://www.sipri.org/yearbook/2020/07#:~:text=There%20were%20at%20least%2015,Somalia%2C%20South%20Sudan%20and%20Sudan.
  7. https://www.internal-displacement.org/sites/default/files/publications/documents/grid2021_idmc.pdf#page=16?v=2
  8. https://ceres2030.org/shorthand_story/donors-must-double-aid-to-end-hunger-and-spend-it-wisely/

Fact Sheet on Africa: Food and the War in Ukraine

2020 – 2021: Africa was already in crisis

  • Due to Covid-19 global food prices have been rising since mid-2020. Key factors are disruption of global supply chains, transportation costs, port disruptions.
  • 6 million people on the continent, over one-fifth of the population, faced hunger in 2020, which is 46.3 million more than in 2019
  • About 44.4 percent of undernourished people on the continent live in Eastern Africa, 26.7 percent in Western Africa, 20.3 percent in Central Africa, 6.2 percent for Northern Africa, and 2.4 percent for Southern Africa
  • The key factors driving food insecurity in Africa are conflict, climate change, economic shocks.

2022: The Impact of the Ukraine War

  • At least 25 African countries import 30% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, and 15 of them import more than 50% from these two countries.
  • Global price increases since the invasion of Ukraine include Wheat = 62%, Maize = 36%,
    Soya Beans = 29%, Fertilizers = 300%
  • African countries like most around the world have little room for fiscal maneuver and are working with reduced resources following the economic shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic

Systemic Weaknesses: Africa’s resilience is weak

  • Only 24% of Africans have access to safe drinking water, 570 million Africans do not have access to electricity, rural road networks are poor and internet connectivity continues to lag behind the world at 22%. Health and education systems remain largely insufficient for the continent’s needs
  • This lack of basic services, combined with marginalization and violation of fundamental human rights has often led to conflict. In 2020, 21.8 million Africans were internally displaced. Many of them are from rural farming areas. Conflicts are highly destructive for agriculture production.

 

2022: What Africa Needs to Do

Managing multiple successive external shocks requires strong governance capable of anticipating and planning, technically competent to develop and implement adapted policies, accountable to citizens and other stakeholders for measurable results.

In the very short-term African Governments must:

  • Protect the vulnerable. Tens of millions are already experiencing hunger or are on the verge of it. Their needs must be addressed immediately. Working with international organizations, African governments must identify the most vulnerable populations, set up a safety net and social protection mechanisms, then mobilize resources to avert the worst.
  • The long term is now. Almost every African country has a National Agriculture Investment Program as well as other rural development strategies. It is time to accelerate implementation.  From rural infrastructure to marketing and transformation mechanisms, there are plans, strategies and proven success stories.  African governments must make agriculture Priority No. 1 and ensure the governance that increases production, marketing and nutrition at the sub-national level. The way to build resilience is to treat it as an emergency.
  • Stronger together. The African Union must enter emergency mode, pull out the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP) along with the myriad of other continental strategies for agriculture, decide on short-term priorities, mobilize resources for them and assist Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and countries to implement. The conceptual work has been done.  It is time to implement.
  • Innovate. Crises enable rapid and radical change. The current situation is an opportunity for African governments to take programs that have been successful on a micro level and scale them for impact. Cassava, chickpea, soybean, maize, sweet potato and plantain are all substitutes for wheat. The techniques for production and transformation are proven at micro-levels.  Governments should scale these solutions, make policy changes and steer consumer habits to locally grown substitution products.  Preservation, transformation, production and marketing technologies all exist at micro levels with proven success. Governments need to select proven solutions that are best adapted to their contexts and implement them to scale.
  • Mobilize internal and external resources. In a time of crisis, people look for leadership and work together where they may not normally have done so. They are also willing to embrace change more quickly. Large scale agriculture programs could enable African governments to harness the energy of women and youth who represent a significant portion of the agriculture workforce, 97.9% of whom work informally. This is a moment to mobilize farmers, introduce new technology and train on large scale. Farmers will be looking for solutions, government must provide them in ways that make systemic change and transform food systems.

 

2022 -2023: What Africa’s Partners Must Do

  • Mobilize resources. Globally, Ceres2030 estimates an additional investment of USD 14 billion from donors and USD 19 billion from affected countries on average each year between now and 2030 could:
    • Lift 490 million people out of hunger
    • Reducing the prevalence of undernourishment below 3% in every country worldwide.
    • Double the incomes of 545 million small-scale farmers on average
    • Maintain greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture below the commitments made in the Paris climate agreement
  • Simultaneously address emergencies and demand sustainable, systemic solutions. Functional states are essential to transforming food systems, building resilience and addressing emergencies.  In times of crisis, as during the Covid-19 pandemic, enormous amounts of resources are made available to governments very quickly.  If access to these resources are not conditioned so that governments address the systemic issues that led them to the crisis situation, then emergency assistance may just be setting the stage for the next crisis. All assistance should address systemic issues that will make governments more functional and resilient.

Sources

  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/climate-and-people/ukraine-war-threatens-food-crisis-political-upheaval-across/
  2. https://reliefweb.int/report/world/africa-regional-overview-food-security-and-nutrition-2021
  3. https://www.voanews.com/a/ukraine-war-to-compound-hunger-poverty-in-africa-experts-say/6492430.html#:~:text=The%20U.N.%20Conference%20on%20Trade,half%20from%20those%20two%20countries.
  4. https://www.unwater.org/world-water-development-report-2019-leaving-no-one-behind/#:~:text=On%20a%20global%20scale%2C%20half,not%20shared%20with%20other%20households.
  5. https://www.dw.com/en/can-africa-achieve-universal-internet-access-by-2030/a-59729090
  6. https://www.sipri.org/yearbook/2020/07#:~:text=There%20were%20at%20least%2015,Somalia%2C%20South%20Sudan%20and%20Sudan.
  7. https://www.internal-displacement.org/sites/default/files/publications/documents/grid2021_idmc.pdf#page=16?v=2
  8. https://ceres2030.org/shorthand_story/donors-must-double-aid-to-end-hunger-and-spend-it-wisely/ 

Note on the impact of the war in Ukraine on Africa

On 24 February 2022, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin announced the launch of a special military operation in Ukraine. Following this announcement, Russian troops deployed on Ukrainian territory.

This note, written on 10 March 2022, provides some insight into the importance of this conflict for Africa and the first steps for African countries to take.

I – Overview of relations between conflict countries and Africa

The relationship between Africa and the countries currently at war is not new. In the 1960s, many African countries had diplomatic and economic relations with the USSR, which included Russia and Ukraine. Despite the end of the Cold War and the crumbling of the USSR in the early 1990s, relations between Africa and these countries continued. On the one hand, Russia inherited the Soviet relationship in Africa in terms of military cooperation and heavy industry. On the other hand, Ukraine has increased its trade in products such as wheat, sugar, rolled metal or chemical fertilisers with African countries.

Russia-Africa relations

  • Relations between Russia and Africa were revitalised during Vladimir Putin’s second term (2004-2008). This vitality was first translated into a logic of “economic diplomacy” and concerns countries (Algeria, Libya, Angola, Namibia, Guinea…) in which the Soviet Union had invested significant resources between the late 1950s and Perestroika
  • It then translated into a strong political and security involvement with countries facing major political crises and challenges (Libya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, etc).
  • It culminated in 2019 with the organisation of the Russia-Africa summit, which saw all 54 countries of the continent represented, including 45 at the level of heads of state. More than 50 agreements worth 800 billion roubles (USD 7,424,595,200.00) were signed
  • In 2018, Russian exports to Africa amounted to $17.5 billion. Africa’s exports to Russia amounted to $2.9 billion. Between 2003 and 2018, the total amount of Russian capital investment in African states by large companies amounted to $47 billion.
  • African countries imported USD 4 billion worth of agricultural products from Russia in 2020. About 90% of these products was wheat, and 6% was sunflower oil. The main importing countries were Egypt, which accounted for almost half of imports, followed by Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Ukraine – Africa relationship

Long-standing and important economic relations

  • Due to the good quality of its agricultural land, Ukraine supplies one fifth of the world’s maize and 80% of the world’s sunflower production. Sunflower, together with soya, is one of the main feedstuffs.
  • Trade between Ukraine and Africa amounted to $210 million in 1996 and exceeded $4 billion in 2020. Ukrainian direct investment reached $810 million in 2020.
  • Kiev was an important supplier to Africa. In particular in sectors such as wheat, agricultural equipment and metal products…
  • Many African countries have had strong trade relations with Ukraine since the 1960s: Morocco, Nigeria, Guinea, Mali, Angola, Uganda, etc.
  • Ukraine exported $2.9 billion worth of agricultural products to the African continent in 2020. About 48% of these products was wheat, 31% maize, and the rest sunflower oil, barley and soybeans.

A popular land for African students

  • Ukraine is also a destination of choice for African students, especially for those wishing to become engineers or doctors.
  • According to the Ukrainian authorities, nearly 76,000 Africans, of all nationalities, most of whom are students, were living in Ukraine before the start of the war.
  • Among the top ten countries of origin of foreign students, three are African: Morocco (8,000 students), Nigeria (4,000) and Egypt (3,500) are among the few to have an embassy in Kiev, along with South Africa, Algeria, Libya and Sudan.

Russia and Ukraine import little from the African continent

Russia and Ukraine’s agricultural imports from the continent are marginal – only USD 1.6 billion on average over the last three years. The dominant products are fruit, tobacco, coffee and beverages in both countries.

II – Africa’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

1 – Africa’s first reactions following the declaration of war?

Country Reactions
African Union 
  • The African Union (AU) expressed on 24 February its “extreme concern about the very serious and dangerous situation in Ukraine”.
  • In a communiqué signed by Senegal’s Macky Sall, current chairperson of the AU, and Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the Commission of the institution, the pan-African organisation calls on “the Russian Federation and any other regional or international actor to imperatively respect international law, the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Ukraine”. Both “urge both parties to establish an immediate ceasefire and to start political negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations without delay”, warning against the “consequences of a global conflict”.
South Africa
  • Through its Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, South Africa “called on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine”, insisting “on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states”.
  • It also said in a statement: “Armed conflict will undoubtedly lead to human suffering and destruction, the effects of which will not only affect Ukraine but also the whole world. No country is immune to the effects of this conflict.
  • Subsequently, President Cyril Ramaphosa offered to engage in discussions with Russia and the United States ‘to stop this war’ at an intergovernmental meeting in Pretoria on 25 February 2022.
Non-permanent African members of the Security Council
  • Kenya, an East African economic power and non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, has condemned Russia. In a speech, Kenya’s ambassador to the UN Security Council, Martin Kimani, said: “The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is being violated. The UN Charter continues to wither under the relentless assault of the powerful.”
  • Ghana and Gabon – the other two African states on the UN Security Council – have also condemned Russia.
Countries that have close military cooperation with the Russian Federation
  • In the aftermath of Russia’s operations in Ukraine, neither Mali nor the Central African Republic has come out in favour of Russia’s intervention, although Russian forces are helping these governments fight insurgencies.
  • Ethiopia, a traditional friend of Russia since Emperor Haile Selassie I and a signatory to important military cooperation agreements with Moscow in July 2021 after US sanctions against Addis Ababa in the wake of the war in Eritrea, has remained silent.
  • Some authorities in Sudan and Uganda supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a reminder, Sudan, which in December 2020 authorised the construction of a Russian naval base in Port Sudan, is one of the African countries where the Russian mercenary group Wagner is strongly established.
Maghreb countries
  • In the Maghreb, Algeria, which has strong ties to Russia and is a regular customer of its arms industry, has remained silent.
  • Tunisia, through its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Othman Jerandi, who was invited to the Ukrainian embassy in Tunis on 24 February, officially condemned “Russia’s armed aggression” and called for support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

2) Reactions of African countries to the UN General Assembly resolution on the conflict in Ukraine

No common front at the UN

A resolution against the Russian invasion was adopted on Wednesday 2 March with a massive margin of 141 votes in favour out of the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly.

28 African countries voted in favour of the resolution condemning the Russian invasion.

Some 17 African countries abstained from the vote at the UN General Assembly. They were Algeria, Burundi, Senegal, South Africa, Southern Sudan, Uganda, Mali and Mozambique. The other countries were Sudan, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania and Congo.

Eritrea was the only African country to vote against the resolution.

8 African countries did not vote.

II – Overview of the impacts of the war in Ukraine on Africa

1 – On the humanitarian level: The urgent need to support Africans living in Ukraine

With the outbreak of war, there are increasing concerns about their safety.

Macky Sall, the Senegalese President and current Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, expressed “their extreme concern over the very serious and dangerous situation in Ukraine” in a joint statement, calling on “the Russian Federation and any other regional or international actor to imperatively respect international law, the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Ukraine”.

2 – In economic terms

This war in Ukraine will have several consequences.

1 – Soaring energy prices

Rising oil prices

  • On the markets, the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine has pushed the price of oil above the $100 a barrel mark – the first time this has happened since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.
  • Fears of a disruption in supply flows even triggered a further 9% surge on 25 February to $105.79 a barrel, which could continue if sanctions are imposed on Russia, which supplies 11.5% of the world’s supply as the world’s second largest crude exporter.
  • The budgets of oil-producing countries such as Nigeria and Angola could receive a boost from higher prices. This will not be the case for non-oil producing countries. [1]
  • While the former are expected to generate enough cash to repay their debts to international donors, the latter risk seeing their energy bills rise to new heights.
  • By impacting on fuel prices, this rise in oil prices will also cause a rise in transport prices and therefore in the price of most consumer goods on the continent, with a real risk of a slowdown.

Rising natural gas prices

  • Also on the energy front, natural gas prices soared by almost 40% in the early hours of the conflict.
    • Europe is concerned that its relations with a neighbour that supplies nearly 40% of its energy needs each year will deteriorate over time.
  • An opportunity to be seized by African producer countries, as Samia Suluhu Hassan, the Tanzanian president, assures us, for whom “this crisis will provoke a particular interest in African gas”, from which her country, as well as Mozambique, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and even more so Algeria could benefit.
  • President Abdelmadjid Tebboune was also keen to reassure his European partners, stating on 24 February that Algeria was in a position ‘to respect its commitments in terms of hydrocarbon supply, particularly natural gas’.

2 – Forecasts of price increases for certain minerals

Bauxite and gold prices on the rise 

  • While prices for the majority of minerals have remained largely unchanged, the situation may change as the war progresses.
  • Following the outbreak of war, the only notable change was that the main component of aluminium, bauxite, broke all-time records.
  • Guinea is a major producer of bauxite and Russia remains one of the world’s leading producers.

Rising gold prices

  • Gold, the safe haven par excellence, recorded its best price in a year and a half the day after the war, gaining 3% to $1,974 per ounce.
  • Ghana, South Africa, Mali and Sudan (among others) are expected to benefit from this increase.

Rising prices for other minerals

  • The continuation of the conflict could nevertheless lead to a medium-term rise in certain minerals largely held by Russia, from nickel to tin, palladium, platinum and copper.
  • Africa’s sub-soil is also rich in this kind of wealth.

3 – A sharp rise in the price of cereal products

  • With Russia and Ukraine together providing more than a third of the world’s wheat supply, the price of a bushel of wheat reached $9.29 in Chicago, its highest price in nine years.
  • The continent is particularly concerned since North Africa remains one of the two main regions in the world, along with the Middle East, to depend on these wheat imports.
    • With 13 to 14 million tonnes purchased each year, Egypt is the world’s largest buyer of Russian wheat. The authorities have just announced that they have a four-month reserve.
    • Algeria also obtains 10% of its needs from Moscow, the world’s leading exporter, while Morocco (12%), Tunisia (48%) and Libya (43%) have chosen to buy from Ukraine, the world’s fourth largest wheat seller.
    • In sub-Saharan Africa, countries such as Togo, Cameroon, Senegal and Nigeria, which are increasingly sourcing from Russia, could also be heavily affected.
  • The spectacular rise in the price of the most consumed cereal on the planet is therefore causing fears of an increase in the price of bread, but also of pasta and semolina, reactivating the specter of the “hunger riots” which had already shaken the African continent between 2008 and 2012.

The combination of these consequences poses serious risks of social disruption in African countries already severely affected by several situations of fragility as well as the Covid pandemic.

3 – On the political level

In addition to threatening African economies, the war in Ukraine could have a devastating political and diplomatic effect on some African states. African governments may come under diplomatic pressure to take sides in the escalating dispute between Russia and Western powers.

The war in Ukraine will lead to increased military spending in rich countries to rearm. These increases in military spending, which come after a Covid-19 crisis that has severely strained state finances, will come at the expense of spending on tackling major challenges such as poverty, pandemics, education, inequality and the climate crisis.

Finally, this war will have potential and unpredictable consequences in countries in crisis where Russians and Westerners are already fighting, such as the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan, Libya, etc.

III – Urgent and priority areas of action for African states

African states must act at least on three levels:

On the humanitarian front, it is important that Africa acts quickly.  If a continental strategy is not adopted, regional economic communities should organise themselves to :

  1. Put in place mechanisms to facilitate the extraction of African nationals from war zones and their return to their respective countries. A pooling of resources could be of definite added value.
  2. Activate all diplomatic networks and mechanisms for the fair treatment of African nationals in European countries. In particular, ensure that they are not subjected to discriminatory treatment such as that seen at the borders of some countries at the beginning of this war.
  3. Put in place arrangements to ensure continuity of training in other countries for African nationals whose studies are permanently interrupted or compromised. A significant proportion of the students specialised in engineering and medicine. These are very important fields for African countries.

In economic terms, it is important to :

  1. Take measures at national, regional and continental level to mitigate the negative effects of this crisis. This implies consultations between governments and African stakeholders in order to find appropriate ways of supporting the most vulnerable populations.
  2. Organise also at national, regional and continental levels to seize the opportunities that this situation could bring. Opportunities exist for countries to become suppliers to Europe, which is in the process of reducing its dependence on Russia.
  3. Most importantly, there is a need to accelerate the structural transformation of African economies in order to ensure the continent’s food sovereignty. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine is a reminder of the urgency of developing African productive capacities.

On the political and diplomatic level, African states would benefit from :

  1. Working together to reaffirm their values and interests and to present common positions in all the international forums in which they will be called upon to express their views.
  2. Contributing to the achievement of a ceasefire and to the search for durable solutions that take into account the interests of all stakeholders in the international system.
  3. Intensifying consultations with their various partners so that the commitments made to development projects and crisis resolution in Africa are maintained and even intensified.
  4. Drawing all the political and geopolitical lessons from the consequences of this major conflict in Eastern Europe.

These three areas of work are minimum elements for African states at the individual and collective level to deal with this major upheaval in the world today.

About the authors

This sheet is produced by STRATEGIES! consulting firm based in Douala, Cameroon. It is a firm specialised in leadership and management that delivers its services in Africa as well as in Europe and the United States. STRATEGIES! supports private companies as well as national and international public institutions. It has been in existence for 27 years and is headed by Kah Walla.

Sources

Article links

https://www.dw.com/fr/afrique-ong-guerre-en-ukraine/a-61101326

https://www.bbc.com/afrique/region-60699348

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2022/03/11/la-guerre-en-ukraine-risque-d-aggraver-l-insecurite-alimentaire-en-afrique-de-l-ouest_6117139_3212.html

https://afrique.tv5monde.com/information/guerre-en-ukraine-face-la-hausse-des-prix-du-ble-les-pays-africains-tentent-de-sadapter

https://www.lepoint.fr/afrique/russie-afrique-l-economie-au-coeur-du-nouveau-partenariat-21-10-2019-2342587_3826.php

https://www.jean-jaures.org/publication/russie-afrique-une-relation-ancienne-mise-en-lumiere-par-lintervention-du-groupe-wagner-au-mali/

https://www.agenceecofin.com/hydrocarbures/0907-58446-classement-des-pays-africains-selon-le-volume-de-petrole-produit-en-2017

https://fr.obsfr.ru/analytics/notes/10953/

https://theconversation.com/comment-le-conflit-russie-ukraine-pourrait-influer-sur-lapprovisionnement-alimentaire-de-lafrique-178191

https://afrique.le360.ma/maroc-algerie-senegal/politique/2022/02/26/37148-crise-russie-ukraine-un-inquietant-casse-tete-pour-les-pays-africains

Video links

In French

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0t8TCCQj4M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbKGL0OGGJo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q4CuTMFijU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyQmN3BZM6E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=831xilKv7ds

In English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMrJ2fk-riM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZBj2C8DU8Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyqFrrDamo0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkzNYd1pdfg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQf7B5DGiJM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjcVTpvQ5MA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDKUhAlYHYw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcTqOdhMlhA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMUmjCgSfXE

  • [1] It is important to note that the continent has 18 oil producing countries: Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, South Sudan, South Africa, Chad, Sudan, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger.

Apart from a dozen oil producing countries, the vast majority of African countries are net oil importers. The continent’s energy dependence is very high.

Support to the organizational development of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition for Good Global Diamond Governance

Botswana, Angola, South Africa, DRC, Namibia, Tanzania and Lesotho are the seven African countries in the world’s top ten diamond producers, with a combined production of just over 39 million carats in 2020, almost a third of this year ‘s world production. The African continent is home to the highest quality and most valuable diamonds on earth (the case of the Cullinan, the largest rough diamond ever discovered, mined in South Africa). Entire cities such as Antwerp in Belgium, Surat in India, and now Dubai in the Emirates owe a significant part of their economic success to diamonds produced in Africa.

This influence does not affect the African towns and villages where these diamonds are mined. In fact, these towns and villages often remain without electricity, schools, and hospitals. The communities around the diamond mining areas often live in extreme poverty for decades. Why is this and what can be done about it? The answers to this question are at the heart of the responsibility of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (KP-CSC)whose role is to contribute to improved global diamond governance through the defense of the rights of communities affected by diamond mining.

It should be recalled that the Kimberley Process is a global tripartite gathering of governments, industry, and civil society with the aim of reducing the existence of conflict diamonds in the world. It was created in May 2000, when South African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, to find ways to eradicate the trade in ‘conflict diamonds’ and to ensure that the diamond trade does not fund the activities of violent rebel movements and their allies to destabilize legitimate governments.

Today, apart from the case of the Central African Republic, the issue of financing the activities of rebel groups for the purpose of destabilizing legitimate governments on the African continent seems less and less alarming. On the other hand, the KP-CSC is raising the alarm about the negative effects of mining on communities living in mining areas. Human rights abuses in the Marangue mines in Zimbabwe since 2011 and the pollution of the Kasai River in the DRC caused by discharges from an Angolan mining company in 2021, among others, raise the question of respect for the human, economic and environmental rights of communities.

Human rights violations at diamond sites include aspects such as:

  • Physical violence against people living in mining areas by the security services of the mining companies, state security services, and sometimes by artisanal miners
  • Child labour in the mines
  • Sexual and gender-based violence against women working in and around mines
  • Violations of people’s economic rights also include
  • Non-payment of royalties to local residents for operating on their land,
  • The lack of decent working conditions for workers in the mines and in particular the absence or inadequacy of legal and regulatory frameworks for the work of artisanal miners
  • The absence or inadequacy of compensation for accidents or damage to individuals and the social environment.

Environmental rights violations include

  • The expropriation of people from their land without respect for their rights and sometimes without respect for the law
  • Pollution of water and land, sometimes making access to drinking water and economic activities of the population, such as agriculture and fishing, impossible
  • Non-rehabilitation of mining sites after exploitation as required by law and good practice to ensure sustainable environmental management

This issue of respecting the rights and interests of communities affected by mining in producing countries is at the heart of the Civil Society Coalition’s involvement in the Kimberley Process.
For the past five years, STRATEGIES! has accompanied the KP-CSC in its work to defend the interests of the communities where diamonds are mined. In five years, the Coalition has achieved significant results both in its organizational strengthening and in its positioning in international diamond governance processes.

Internally, the KP-CSC, which currently comprises 13 African NGOs representing 9 producer countries and one Belgian NGO, has been able to:

  • Undertake the transition to African leadership after about 10 years of operation under Western leadership
  • Establish an internal functioning that is active at national (10 countries), sub-regional (Southern, West and Central Africa), and international levels
  • Develop mechanisms for collective decision-making, management of individual and collective programs, reporting of activities and finances, and more.
  • Establish a strategic multi-annual framework, specifying its mission and strategic objectives and a regularly updated annual operational plan.

Externally to the Kimberley Process and with other international diamond governance frameworks, the KP-CSC has been able to:

  • Develop its community advocacy strategy integrating all stakeholders
  • Significantly strengthen its advocacy with other stakeholders including governments and industry players
  • Strengthen its communication to the public within the producing countries and internationally
  • Conducting national and sub-regional studies and research that have strengthened its international communication and advocacy
  • Putting community concerns firmly on the international agenda

In continuation of this support STRATEGIES! facilitated the annual planning meeting of the Kimberley Process Coalition from 31 January to 5 February 2022 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The 2022 strategy has been developed and implementation has already begun. May the people of Africa benefit from their diamonds in the New Year!


If you are interested in the subject of diamond governance in the world, in the firm’s technical support, or in the activities of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition, please write to us on this platform or at strategs@strategiesconsultingfirm.com.

STRATEGIES! at Economic Forum GFFA 2022

STRATEGIES! was honoured to participate in the 14th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) as moderator of one of the 15 expert panels on the programme. The virtual conference took place from Monday 24th January – to Friday 28th January 2022 under the overall theme “Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil”.

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