The recent meeting in Moscow between Chad’s President Idriss Deby and Russia’s Vladimir Putin is the latest sign Africa is embracing the emerging multipolar world order. Western reaction to this and a score of other linkups has been on the level of a geopolitical panic. One by one, and in batches, the nations of Africa are spurning the old-world imperialists, especially France. And Chad is a keystone nation in the dead center of the continent.
“Chad is one of our potential African partners. The range of opportunities of our [bilateral] cooperation is far from being fully tapped; we have plenty of work ahead of us.” – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
This first meeting between Chad’s interim president and Mr. Putin is significant for several reasons. First, and perhaps foremost, Idriss Deby’s visit indicates that Western pressures on his government are no longer working. Some may recall that Deby intended to attend the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg but later cancelled the visit. Experts told TASS and other news agencies that Chad reduced its engagement with Russia owing to heavy pressure from Washington and the Europeans. These Western nations are not helping their African ambitions one bit by referring to President Deby (and others) as “junta leaders” and so forth.
Another sign that the tide has turned is that Chad’s prime minister was in Moscow a week earlier, inking an agreement to develop military ties with Moscow. Amazingly, the think tanks and policymakers in the West seem to be failing in every effort to stem the stampede of world nations driving toward BRICS membership and closer China/Russia ties. A recent Council on Foreign Relations report is a perfect example of the losing hand the American hegemony is holding.
Take a look at the map of African nations that are supposedly succumbing to so-called Russian “misinformation campaigns.” Miraculously, Chad sits in the center of a nest of other propagandised countries. Curious, no? Further proof that no policy geniuses live anywhere around the White House comes in the form of brainless admission of guilt. Part of the punchline of the CFR piece reads like testimony from a foolish criminal in an American court:
“The fallout from the war in Ukraine has revealed diplomatic fault lines. Analysts say the West needs to pursue more equal partnerships with African countries.”
So, analysts readily admit that the West has had unequal partnerships with African countries! There’s a “duh” moment for you. One can examine France’s remaining influence on the continent and see how the United States’ policies are failing, too. France has maintained a paternalistic stance in Africa, and most leaders realise the French have done relatively little to help their people. Development in countries where France has been most influential is stagnant at best. The same holds for the U.S., UK, and other European interests. France is now persona non grata in Niger, and pretty soon America will follow suit. This excerpt from The Economist’s story about the so-called Summit for a New Global Financial Pact explains the African leadership’s frustration.
“Africa’s large presence reflects a fear that the continent is being short-changed as priorities shift towards helping Ukraine and dealing with climate change. That is feeding a deeper anger—that the continent has too little say in global institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the UN, and that some of the proposed reforms could again leave Africa out in the cold.”
Looking at the Ukraine situation and wondering how idiotic it is for Western propagandists to try and include the proxy war there in matters concerning other nations and continents, a practical look reveals just how feeble the Liberal Elite’s ideas are. Take, for instance, the $233 billion given to the Kyiv regime to fight on Russia’s doorstep. That’s enough money to give every man, woman, and child in Chad $12,000. That’s seven times the per capita income, or enough to lift the entire population out of poverty. It’s enough to alleviate the suffering of over 1.4 million children who are malnourished. $233 million is enough to ease the suffering of the 238 million undernourished people living on the African continent. Think about that. Oxfam America says:
“The hunger African people are facing today is a direct result of inadequate political choices.”
No doubt about this. But look at the recent comments of Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, pitching Sahel countries America’s brand of security. In every American counter to growing Russia’s influence in Africa, the Western propagandists key on Wagner PMC and Russia’s weapons deals instead of nuclear energy or other infrastructure cooperations. Now, the United States wants to put its mercenaries at the disposal of whoever needs hired guns for their next coup.
Finally, as often as Western propagandists have harped on Russia being weakened by ridiculous sanctions, it’s interesting to note that Africa and Asia have replaced Europe as the top destinations for Russian crude oil exports. Europe once accounted for as much as 60% of Russia’s oil exports. And to cap this report off, in November, ships loaded with free Russian grain headed for Burkina Faso and Somalia from Russian ports. Shipments will also reach Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Mali, and the Central African Republic as Vladimir Putin makes good on his promise after the Ukraine grain deal fell through. And you can be sure every African leader knows the foodstuffs from the failed Black Sea grain initiative were headed primarily to Europe. These double dealings play a prominent role in our shift toward Russia. Still, all the Western leadership seems capable of is panic chest pounding and thumbscrew tactics to try and rescue its diplomacy. In December, the Biden administration parroted new trade deals worth about $14 billion with African nations. That’s about the same amount as Ukraine’s underworld’s thievery of weapons and funds provided to Zelensky by Biden. The Pentagon lost $1 billion in weapons by its lonesome. Another Pentagon error ended up providing Ukraine with an additional $6.2 billion.
The wind that shifted after the start of the military operation in Ukraine is blowing in gusts, driving the world’s nations into another orbit. So, panicked Western leaders are probably a natural thing. Wait until the BRICS announce a new international currency of exchange.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.