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tv   NEWS LIVE - 30  Al Jazeera  October 11, 2018 3:00am-3:34am +03

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also. our what i see in zimbabwe where i would say oh i see russians at work what i see in zimbabwe. zimbabwe. russia is interested in. mining in the mining sector there is a human resources in which russians are greatly interested. this is a project in which russian cooperation. is interest. on the. russian foreign minister sergei lavrov visited a number of different countries on the continent one of them was zimbabwe and this is what the zimbabwean foreign minister. had to say about this relationship with russia have a listen it is the desire of zimbabweans that we can. feed our little knowledge
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with the russians are quite competent so that we can also develop in terms of a bloody through the. whole for example has been asked so that we can industrialized it and then create value in what we do. paul that was very upbeat that many says zimbabwe he sounded positively to it. he did and i think a very very interesting to see what happens in the long term between zimbabwe and russia there's a lot of promises that have been made but what we see in a lot of russian engagement with africa is lots of you know exciting deals are signed and then if you look two three years down the road not all of them come to fruition so you know when i look at zimbabwe i see basically mining i don't see a whole lot of technology coming from from russia i see much more sort of extract is. and that type of. industries i also see sort of a partner in sort of sort of
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a political partner for russia sort of globally i mean the way has at times in the past back to russia at the un and i think russia is trying to sort of keep that in with the political change that we've seen in zimbabwe over the past few years to try and sort of solidify that partnership moving forward. one of the biggest parts of this partnership that our community gets pointing out is arms this is live on you tube this is the road to write them putin is going to use russian military weapons as currency to buy africa there's a lot of skepticism here on line but we also have video coming from someone who has some specific examples of what that currency might look like this is solomon solomon she is that multimedia digital journalist and b o a the africa division and here's what she told the story russia's making a comeback with big announcements on the continent one of the latest expansions is eritrea forging a security relationship last month with moscow when moscow announced it to build
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a logistics center on the red sea coast this is the latest effort to forge alliances with countries in africa following multiple trips to the continent by this year by its foreign minister sergei lavrov to discuss military economic and diplomatic partnerships these partnerships have to store clee centered on arms deals arms sales with documented deals between russia and at least thirty african countries between one thousand nine hundred and two thousand and seventeen russia and egypt for example engaged in nearly thirty arms deals so we're actually just gave us a few examples there but what do you make of those deals this is part of a new world order that we're looking at. you know so i think the interesting thing is what is russia's strategy in africa going to be relative to the last time that they were in africa you know their economic power has diminished that are not the same scale as they did with the soviet union so they're going to have to play clever and i think the approach is going to be more of one around energy diplomacy
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and hard power so that speaks to things like exploration rights in hydrocarbons speaks to things like nuclear power and it speaks to armament supplies and sales and we're seeing gradual efforts in those in those arenas and i think you know taking a step back there is a shift in global geopolitics right so in twenty sixteen we had briggs and we had the election of donald trump and we saw a more insular approach from the western world china's influence in africa is very well documented and is looking to exploit the vacuum that exists among some western powers and now given kind of. global agenda and the fact that he wants to reassert russia as a global player again. you know africa is emerging as another arena and they don't want to miss out on the scramble it i'm looking here. posting here from the now post russia cancels all debts of african countries in excess of twenty billion
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dollars poor that if they can't it is a significant amount of debt relief that we've seen africa do and i've even seen figures that are even larger than that over the last couple years but i think just to give a little scale if you look at sort of chinese commercial loans to africa over that same period it's i believe it's in around eighty six billion dollars so i think this sort of highlights a problem that russia is having in that it is having difficulty competing with with with china when russia left the continent twenty years ago it it was you know the big the big one of the big players there it disengaged for about twenty years and it's having a sort of a. sort of unwelcome realisation. it has much less influence that it did before and it's trying to play catchup and it doesn't have the same economic power that it did in the past so i think that's one reason why you see arms sales it's one thing that russia is very good at and it's something that is very attractive to many african countries and all of it begs the question how do
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citizens of some of these nations feel and their leaders this is someone who wrote in on you tube how do the african leaders and people see the influence of russia they also add in china but let's focus here on russia when it comes to investment is it good or bad as a new form of colonization up to give this one to you. i think much like the relationship that china africa relationship with within the continent we should be . allied to the opportunities and pitfalls of this and also russia's interests in that within the continent within a broader geo strategic context that should be my opinion because i feel like yes the idea of new colonization from quote unquote from china these there talk of a new scramble for africa and african policymakers. should exploit this renewed attention in an advantageous amana rover and you know falling victim to.
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geopolitical chess i mean we already know about the russian nuclear deal as of africa which has been shot in the troposphere we know of mozambique for instance and the russian lender to be caught in a multi-billion dollar scandal there so there is an underwater opportunities african governments were looking to create opportunities to create economic growth and to look for political support from you know whether it's russia or china or other countries but you also have to be cognizant of the problems that might arise from some of these deals if i can come in. yet yes yes and i think the issue here is that you know there's there's a tendency to paint russian and chinese engagement as as evil relative to western engagement and i think what that does if it's right and absent that who paints that is evil he's saying it's evil. so i mean the terms and conditions that that come
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with with russian and chinese engagement in the western media in particular allegations that it's bad for a country that it's not good for the quality of the growth and all these shady deals which which don't have transparency and i mean dissecting the nature of the of the the relationships at typically these tend to be government to government type deals very similar to the chinese engagement whereas countries like india and countries like japan tend to take a more private sector aren't that approach i think you know this narrative what it doesn't focus on is african agency and who do we blame if countries get into dodgy deals you know they mortgage their sovereignty and they give up huge concessions and the likes to do partners who are willing to do and do not ask questions of it so that the accountability piece is one that i think needs greater scrutiny whether that's through the media so what society do the better leadership from around iraq and i'm also seeing that seeing accountability are you seeing strategic deals being
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done on the continent with russia because africa has the minerals you've got the minerals you've got the results of this. you are the continent the actual everybody wants to come to play with you and the reality is that it's not good enough so a country like kenya is doing this pretty well you know they're using economic diplomacy and they're exploiting their geo strategic location the fact that they've got interest from the east and the west and they're making that work for them but sadly not enough countries are doing that and i think what what a good policymaker in in many african countries would do it would exploit the interest that you're getting from russia from china from india from japan and use that to maximise economic value so be pragmatic rather than ideological around foreign policy i think is the route to go and that's what's going to going to drive maximum economic benefits. i value of the longer answer because africa over the
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longer term is going to have a bigger workforce that china and india are it's going to play a much more meaningful role in global production and consumption and the reality is that it's too big to ignore as a continent so you know what various countries do with agency and how they negotiate good deals for themselves and the people most important is what we actually should be focusing on rather than this broader imperial agenda the recolonization of africa oh god i'm going yeah i want to bring you back into the conversation i want to show you something if i may this is from alexander cots and alexander tweeted out this video here it's russian instructors instructing local military in sudan they're working well together you hear from russia only similarly i think i'm just wondering cold chain between sudan and russia what is the coach calling the cultural ties because back in the us example in the
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seventy's when russia was doing really well the soviet union was doing really well with its relationships with the continent there were cultural ties as well. ok. there. go ahead but what i can say is that of course that i should try to develop. as africa in the soviet era probably the cultural ties were much stronger. although we also still tried to develop them and the. kind of. cultural links exactly. even though for example our institute. develops. we always celebrate the nation. first nation celebrations of different african countries. different can countries to institute we organize a celebration and i would discourage we're going to princes to discuss the topic of
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problems of this so that country and also i would for example. reverse fresh research on this or that country and publishes books and. articles and also one of the areas of cooperation between russia and various african countries is that we provide evidence for. students including saddam also i will. add that much more stipends for the african students what you are up to fifteen thousand students. in russia this is this is the soft power that we've been talking about a little bit earlier on. it could just be that tough power i mean that is why a couple of people on my not very many but a few see this as a good and advantageous thing for african countries this is about on twitter who
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says russia has a positive impact on africa they are not interested economically but to buy strength through collaboration so that's one person's view i want to go over here to you to this is someone else great send them back in the day many infrastructural projects were done by russians such as. area steel plant china and russia are not seen as these narcissistic western countries that are interesting thoughts here paul i wouldn't have thought of them myself what do you make of them that russia is and by some extent also china are are better more benevolent than their western counterparts well i'm not sure i would agree with that statement exactly but they do operate quite differently from from the western counterparts in many ways russia is a little bit more transactional. in the soviet era there was ideology related to it now it's not it's not so much and you are seeing i mean i would agree with all that that you do see some russian soft power it's much more now driven by corporate interests that russian corporate corporate. i think i believe there's
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a russian language and student sudan that's run by a russian company so you're seeing some of these these. soft power institutions but they're very different from what they were before. but i do think you know you know there's a lot of. criticism that you know the west. conditions its engagement conditions dangerous on good governance and anti-corruption sometimes it realize you know it lives up to that sometimes it doesn't but i think for many african countries you know engagement can be turned off from the west at a moment's notice so i think many countries are looking at. china and russia as a more reliable partner and i think you particular see this with arms sales you know several countries that have had you know the the west either europe or the united states cut off arms sales they're now pivoting to russia because they don't see that as a likely problem down the road and so. i sort of also would argue that
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many african countries rapidly developing economies they want greater global power and they want greater influence over the international system and they see russia and china as partners in that because both of those countries are trying. also reassert themselves in the global power and so i think this is one thing that drives the south african russian relationship sometimes that relationship seems bizarre to me but i think it's that quest to sort of gain greater influence in the world that the tribes that i think. also there's there's a difference here between willingness and ability right so there's a lot of. you know questions being posed around russia in during the soviet period during the cold war and their engagement then and whether that can be replicated now the reality is that you know the just don't have the economic power or the military power to do that anymore the global system is changed so you know why it's there may be that willingness to try and reassert themselves on the african continent but certainly in countries where they've had historical linkages where
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they provided academic and military training to liberation leaders like south africa like mozambique like angola like namibia you know they don't have the means to do that anymore so we've got to differentiate and that's why i think the strategy of boxing clever and playing a nice game around energy diplomacy and hard power with a little bit of soft power is one that i think will be most effective so you know if you look at what the rest of the world is trying to do on the continent you know the american foreign policy has changed dramatically and you know their relationship with with africa will be around return on investment europe is largely focused around security and migration britain and there's a potential opportunity there with briggs it's to do exploit the commonwealth linkages india and and and japan are looking to establish military routes china's got to both broad initiative and their criticisms around it's dead strategy so what you're going to do i really want to just end of the russian foreign minister sergei
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lavrov he really spent a lot of time a lot of energy travelling around different countries on the continent. here. talking about his strategy and what he's up to have a listen. well i think we are in the west world order but this order is being shaped and that will take so long that. it's a historical people if you if you want certain after five or so centuries of domination of the collective west as it were it's not very easy to adjust to new realities on the run. powerhouse a second on the kind of financially and politically china india. brazil. african countries are going to be very much on the right. you know i heard china africa. china india brazil countries and an african country if you didn't name the
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individual ones as my pet peeve just writing an entire continent you cannot write not by because we're at the end of the show but i do want to hear just to make a just squeezing now with the community if i wrap up i will end with two tweets to comments rather this one is from you too who says someone says this next decade of russia plays its cards right its influence will increase by a good margin in line with china summit also as what it cautionary much heart says i hope are african leaders are taking precautions with these relations so poor. that and abdi thank you so much for being guest on the stream today we really appreciate it really can i always be online you can find us on twitter at a.j. stream thanks so much oil see you next time.
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