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Russia to Help Africa Achieve Financial Sovereignty via Digital Currencies: State Duma Vice Speaker

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Russia Putin African Leaders - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 18.06.2024
BRICS can also be seen as an instrument for achieving the goal since African countries see the bloc as a "platform for achieving real sovereignty in the economic, financial, and technological fields," Institute of African Studies Director at the Russian Academy of Sciences told Sputnik on the sidelines of the BRICS Academic Forum in late May.
Russia can help African countries gain financial sovereignty through the mechanism of creating central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), Vice Speaker of the State Duma Alexander Babakov told Sputnik.
Earlier, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and Chairman of the party "United Russia," noted that Paris will try to maintain its covert currency presence in Africa for as long as possible, which is vitally important for French President Emmanuel Macron.
"Russia can and should help African countries achieve financial sovereignty, including through the creation of CBDCs. The new payment ecosystem should be based on innovative financial technologies: with high-speed real-time processing, working with digital currencies and assets, blockchain technology, and the absence of intermediaries," Babakov said.
He noted that the African continent is standing at the threshold of new opportunities and challenges, new partners and connections, making it the right time for Africa to finally break free from American and European colonizers and their modern-day influence.
"The history of Africa is filled with tragic chapters where European powers and the United States ruthlessly exploited the land and people of the continent. The colonial era left deep wounds, destroyed cultures and traditions, and brought suffering and inequality. Despite all this, the spirit of Africans was not broken. Africa is home to brave, courageous, and strong people who have fought and continue to fight for their independence and future," emphasized the official.
 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.02.2024
Sub-Saharan Africa
What Are Advantages of Russia-Africa Exchanges in Digital Currencies?
According to him, the US has decided to pour tens of millions of dollars into a deceptive propaganda campaign against Russia, creating a specialized fund aimed at "countering malicious Russian influence in Africa."

"This appears to be the futile agony of US State Department officials recognizing their geopolitical defeat on the African continent. Free African citizens, unlike those in America and Europe influenced by LGBT* propaganda, can clearly distinguish genuine friends from exploiters and colonizers. Russia can respond to these meaningless propaganda attacks with real action — by helping to establish a sovereign financial system in Africa," Babakov believes.

He reminded that over the past two years, the share of settlements between Russia and BRICS countries in national currencies has grown from 26% to 85%. Similarly, the share of settlements in national currencies with African countries has increased significantly. By the end of 2023, the share of friendly countries' currencies used for Russian export payments had reached 78.8%.

"Russia's lack of attention to this issue will keep African countries within the sphere of influence and maximum control of their financial sovereignty by the same Anglo-Saxon and French financial structures. Consequently, Russia's expansion will be limited to the commodity sector and other secondary areas," the lawmaker noted.

Babakov pointed out that nowadays, the financial system of most Central and West African countries is controlled through the West African CFA franc and the Central African CFA franc. The financial system of the CFA franc zone countries is controlled by financial instruments and institutions affiliated with France, and the foreign exchange reserves of the CFA franc zone countries are held in the Central Bank of France, which serves as a custodian.

"Additionally, the exchange rate with the euro is set and maintained by the Bank of France, meaning African countries are very limited in managing their monetary policy. Monitoring and reporting mechanisms allow France to oversee the financial activities of the CFA-franc zone countries. It is France that evaluates the compliance of financial policies within the CFA franc zone," the deputy speaker said.

In his opinion, it is essential to recognize that existing global payment systems are not adapted to the trends of digitalization in the global economy, and using existing centralized payment systems involves high geopolitical risks. Babakov believes new payment solutions are needed based on the principles of decentralization, the use of digital currencies, and smart contracts, minimizing intermediaries and costs while maximizing convenience and transaction speed.
"Our goal is to support the sovereignty of African countries not only in finance but also in industry, science, and education. Africans deserve a sovereign, strong, and prosperous Africa, where every citizen has the opportunity to realize their potential and live in peace and prosperity. To achieve this, it is necessary to abandon external dictates from the U.S. and Europe and strive for equal cooperation within the framework of political and financial sovereignty," Babakov added.
* The "LGBT movement" is classified as extremist by the Russian authorities and is banned in Russia.