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‘Russia is Highly Welcomed’: Nigerian Expert on Why Country is Gaining Support in Africa

© AP Photo / Sam MednickНигерийцы с российским флагом в руках участвуют в марше, организованном сторонниками лидера государственного переворота генерала Дж. Абдурахман Кьянти в Ниамее
Нигерийцы с российским флагом в руках участвуют в марше, организованном сторонниками лидера государственного переворота генерала Дж. Абдурахман Кьянти в Ниамее - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 25.04.2024
The latest survey done by US consulting agency Gallup showed a decline in US approval ratings among Africans, while China and Russia are gaining ground on the continent. The recent breakdown of the military agreement between the US and Niger and the now-reportedly discussed withdrawal of US troops are a clear examples of this trend.
Russia is "highly welcomed" in Africa as it has never tried to colonize the continent and can establish a win-win cooperation by providing much-needed technology and military training to the locals, Professor Hudu Abdullahi Ayuba at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria told Sputnik Africa.

"Russia is highly interested in Africa. [...] Russia is highly welcomed [...]. [It] is a developed country with a level of technology [that] Africa will need for its own development. So, what Russia should do is just try to establish a win-win partnership with Africa!" he said.

Ayuba expressed his confidence that if Russia follows this policy, then many countries on the continent will open their doors to it, despite the fact that the West will "vehemently" oppose it.

"I think if Russia does that [...] [it] would be [welcomed] in almost all African countries. I know the US and Western countries will oppose it vehemently, but it's our life. It's our destiny. We can choose our partner because Africa is independent; it's not the property of any power," the professor added.

But in what areas is cooperation with Russia especially important? According to the guest, this includes, foremost, military training and the provision of equipment, as well as the development of mineral resources.
Nigeriens, some holding Russian flags, participate in a march called by supporters of coup leader Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani in Niamey, Niger, on July 30, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 23.04.2024
Sub-Saharan Africa
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Furthermore, while commenting on Niger's leader's decision to turn to Russia in his "patriotic fight," the expert warned Russia against repeating the US and France's mistakes that brought their troops to Africa but haven't provided any high-quality training to the local armies.
This issue brought the discussion to a broader topic of the possibility of African countries trusting the US and the West in general. Ayuba unequivocally stated that the West cannot be trusted. After the end of the Cold War in 1991, Western countries imposed liberal democracies on Africa, which did not bring the promised prosperity to the continent.
The West, however, continues to push the human-rights agenda to the African nations without noticing the fact that Africans themselves are deprived of the right to a decent life because they have been neocolonized and underdeveloped by the Western nations.

"In Africa, they say the best thing to do is to have democracy and human rights. Good! But what are we gaining from it? They talk a lot about human rights. I think a decent life is part of human rights. [...] So, our democracy is not solving problems. We should look for another system. [...] If [Russia] can bring a new perspective, then I think the relationship between Russia and Africa will go a long way," Ayuba pondered.

Because of this negative influence, African leaders, in particular the heads of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, are beginning to break agreements with the United States and the former metropolises, thereby sparking a "new revolution of freedom."

"So, should we stick to our former colonial masters or expand our relationship with other powers? That's the question. I think Africa started a new revolution. A revolution of freedom. A revolution, a revolution of new ideas and new policies," Ayuba concluded.