As you know, colonial exploitation of the African countries became one of the foundations of the flourishing of capitalism in Europe and for centuries has supported the economic expansion of the Old world, and then USA. Currently, Africa is again reviewed by the Europeans (and not only among them) as a promising source of resources, the control of which is vital to ensure further development. On the horizon loomed another scramble for Africa.
Africa’s role in the history of Europe and the West in General cannot be overstated. It is no exaggeration to say that we know, Europe — the global centre of economic, technological forces, a special development model, a reliable system of social guarantees has arisen and exists largely due to Africa, that is, the wealth that was literally stolen in Africa supposedly civilized Europeans. Without this organized robbery, which lasted for centuries (and continuing today) today’s prosperous Europe would not be.
Apparently, the Europeans will continue to think of Africa as a reservoir from which to draw resources for development. This is indicated by the persistent attention that the leaders of the European Union in recent years belong to the Black Continent.
This attention emerged recently and became visible especially after brekzita. The withdrawal of Britain and the EU forced the Union to seek a new paradigm of existence in the conditions of increasing competition for a place under the sun.
In January 2017, the Minister of economic cooperation of Germany Gerd Muller has proposed to launch for Africa new Marshall plan. He urged to help African countries develop their own economies with the EU that will lead to mutually beneficial results.
In may, one of the most prominent European politicians, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble argued: «For us Europeans, difficulties largely come from Africa, with all due respect to that continent. If we are unable to reduce the gap in well-being, we all have to face very serious threats.»
And shortly thereafter, the newly elected President of France Emmanuel macron made his first visit outside Europe — in Africa, in order to visit the French military deployed in Mali. Then Paris spoke at the UN security Council with the initiative of creation of joint armed forces five African countries to fight the jihadists in the Sahel zone, i.e. in the regions lying immediately South of the Sahara.
And in these days in Berlin in preparation of the summit of «big twenty» is an international conference devoted to the problems of Africa. Speaking at the opening, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in particular, said: «If the situation in Africa would be too hopeless, then, of course, young people will think about how to seek a better life somewhere else. So, if we’re going to work together to help your countries, we get more security and be able to stop people who are illegally cashing in on the fate of others.»
In short, there is a clear tendency of the two leading European powers — Germany and France — to transform Africa into a subject of active European policy. And although they act under the slogans of combating terrorism and illegal migration, there is no doubt that their true goal is to make the Continent a source of resources necessary for the future development of the EU.
It would seem that there is nothing fundamentally new in such a statement of the problem there: Africa was exploited, and needs to stay that way. But at the current stage of the struggle for Africa for Europe acquires a special meaning.
The fact that the EU has started the process of determining from the United States and the Anglo-Saxons as a whole (including Britain). This means that the hitherto «solidarity» of the West rooted in the past, and former allies become competitors. In this context, the objectives of the African strategy for the EU can be formulated as: «Africa for Europeans!»
To win and defend their positions in Africa, Europeans will not only have the Americans. No less (and possibly greater) problem is the Chinese penetration: over the past decade, Beijing increased the volume of trade and investment in Africa. A genuine interest in her and Arab investors, both Israel and Turkey. The fight for African resources and international terrorist groups.
All it proves is that the scramble for Africa will be brutal and long. The very continent that does not Bode well, since his problem will be inflated and used external players in their own selfish purposes. Unfortunately, we have to expect growth in the number of hot spots here and increasing foreign intervention in the Affairs of the region.
What conclusions follow from this for Russia?
Of course, our country should pay more attention and focused approach to what is done on the African continent, to use the remaining from the Soviet era a legacy established relations with various political forces, business structures, and the like.
However, it seems that while forming its own African strategy, we should refrain from being drawn into starting a war of all against all. And the main thing — to consider that as a source of resources for the sustainable development of Europe in many respects, Africa is a competitor to Russia.