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Faith Nyasuguta 

Dmytro Kouleba, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy has announced a “long-term” fight to “revive” Kiev’s relations with Africa and reduce the “grip” of Moscow on the continent based, according to him , on “coercion, corruption and fear”.

After decades of oblivion, Kiev has launched an operation of seduction in Africa in a bid to obtain its support in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which commenced in February 2022.

Many years have been lost, but we are going to push forward a Ukrainian-African renaissance, to revive these relations ,” Kouleba said in an interview with AFP on Wednesday.

“This continent needs systematic and long-term work ,” added the minister, who has so far made three tours in Africa since last fall.

In June, a delegation of African Heads of State led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also visited Ukraine.

If “most African countries” still display their “neutrality” in the face of the conflict, “a slow erosion of Russian positions in Africa is underway” , assured the minister, citing Liberia , Kenya , Ghana, the Côte d’ Ivoire , Mozambique, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea among Kiev’s new partners on the continent.

“We don’t want to be another Russia. Our strategy is not to replace Russia, but to liberate Africa from Russian rule,” he said.

Kouleba has accused the Kremlin of using “coercion, corruption and fear” to keep African countries in its fold while assuring that Moscow had only “two powerful working tools in Africa: propaganda and (the paramilitary group) Wagner” .

For several years, Russia has been engaged in an intense rapprochement with Africa, including through the security services provided by Wagner, particularly in Mali and the Central African Republic, presenting itself as a bulwark against “imperialism” and “neocolonialism ” Western.

Kouleba also slams Moscow’s concerns about Africa’s food security as “lies” after it pulled out of a crucial deal that saw 33 million tonnes exported in one year of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, despite the Russian invasion.

“Africans have seen that all these stories of (Vladimir) Putin about how he cares about African countries are lies,” Kouleba noted.

The abandonment of this agreement by Moscow in July raised fears of a rise in cereal prices which particularly affects the poorest nations

The Russian head of state then promised to deliver free grain to six African countries. “It is the Ukrainian farmer and the African consumer of bread who pay the most (the exit from Moscow),” said Kouleba.


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Faith Nyasuguta

1 Comment

    I find this to be very condescending. Ukraine to liberate Africa? What makes all these foreign entities think Africa is a place to push their weights around and dictate policy?

    Africans, this is only possible because your ‘mindsets’ that lead to poverty thinking, that bread divisions and chaos have opened doors for outsiders to take you for granted, use you for their own selfish ends. At the end of the day, only Africans are to blame.

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