growing influence

Wagner aside, Russia exerts soft power through fertiliser

By Estelle Maussion

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Posted on July 24, 2023 09:09

Russian fertiliser Abidjan
Workers unload fertiliser at the port of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. (©Jacques Torregano for Jeune Afrique)

Already a key security player in Africa via the Wagner Group, Russia is also leveraging its fertiliser exports.

The Wagner group, active in the security and mining sectors, spearheads Russia’s presence on the continent, particularly in West Africa. But Moscow has other levels of influence, including fertiliser.

The proof: the programme for the second Russia-Africa summit, to be held on 27-28 July in St Petersburg, includes a roundtable devoted entirely to this subject, entitled ‘Stabilising the fertiliser market to eradicate hunger in African countries’.

Another session entitled ‘Russia and Africa: Partnership for food sovereignty’ is expected to deal extensively with the subject, given that it is sponsored by the Russian Association of Fertiliser Producers (RAFP).

Promise to transfer skills

Russia, a major world fertiliser producer, does not intend to limit itself to the role of “supplier”. Having made a visible statement by donating fertiliser, Russia also intends to “transfer cutting-edge

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