July 28, 2023 Peace, friendship, money. Economists named Russia's main interest in Africa

Дарья Буравчикова / АиФ
African countries represent a colossal sales market for Russian goods with a solvent population that has something to offer Russia in return, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ph.D. in Economics Yuri Skubko told aif.ru.

“Africa is of enormous economic importance as a rapidly developing continent, so it is also important who African leaders support politically. But if we talk about the economy, then first of all we must talk about the population of one and a half billion people, which continues to grow. This is a large market because the welfare of the population of African countries is also gradually improving. It is a stereotype that the average African is poor and hungry. They can buy foreign goods, including Russian ones,” explained Yuri Skubko.

“If we build, relatively speaking, a nuclear power plant in an African country, even on credit, this means multi-year contracts for maintenance, personnel training, and fuel supplies. This is beneficial and contributes to the technological development of Russia itself, and African countries will gradually repay loans. They can repay part of the debt in kind, for example, coffee and fruit,” explained Yuriy Skubko.

The second persistent stereotype that African countries have been accustomed to getting everything for free since Soviet times is also rapidly losing relevance, said Sergei Kostelyanets, Head of the Center for Sociological and Political Science Studies at the Institute of African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ph.D. in Political Science, in a conversation with aif.ru.

“Of course, African countries will gladly accept grain, fertilizers, or other goods from Russia for free, but the same can be said about any other country; everyone loves gifts. The specific nature of the leadership of African countries is that for them politics is not separated from economics; they are very practical and concerned about socio-economic development. They are interested in partners who can help with this, and political ideology is secondary to them. That’s why they don’t support the West’s attempts to isolate Moscow,” the expert explained.

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