Russia Courts African Nations With Grain Donations, Fertiliser Research Funding

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News in brief:
- Russia is poised to start delivering free grain to African countries within a couple of days, following President Vladimir Putin’s pledge in July.
– This move, along with funding research into fertiliser production, is aimed at addressing global food and fertiliser price concerns, reflects Russia’s strategic approach to deepen ties with Africa, counterbalancing Western influence.

Russia’s initiative to provide free grain shipments to African nations is reportedly set to commence within days, a Bloomberg report says. It will mark a significant step in the country’s efforts to strengthen its foothold on the continent.

President Vladimir Putin pledged to deliver free grain to six African countries with close ties to Moscow during a Russia-Africa summit held in St. Petersburg in July. The decision had stemmed from mounting criticism that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its subsequent withdrawal from a deal enabling Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea were exacerbating global food and fertiliser price hikes.

The grain donations, coupled with the announcement of funding fertiliser research, underscore Russia’s strategic approach to cultivating deeper ties with African nations. By addressing pressing food security concerns and demonstrating its commitment to agricultural development, the Putin-administration aims to expand its influence and counterbalance Western dominance in the region.

Additionally, this move is particularly significant given the growing concerns among African nations regarding food insecurity and fertiliser shortages. The continent relies heavily on imports of both grain and fertilisers, and the disruptions caused by the Ukrainian conflict have threatened to exacerbate existing food crises.

Analysts say Russia’s grain donations and research funding commitments are likely to be met with mixed reactions. While some African governments may welcome the assistance, others may express concerns about potential strings attached or the implications for their relationships with Western powers.

Nevertheless, Russia’s initiative is seen as a determination to play a prominent role in shaping the African continent’s future. By addressing critical challenges and offering tangible support, Russia seeks to forge stronger partnerships and expand its sphere of influence in the region.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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