UPDATED PODCAST: Why Has North Africa Become a Fault-line-Challenge to a Western-Led Global Order?

A View from Afar S04 E09.

In this the ninth episode of A View from Afar for 2023, political scientist Dr Paul Buchanan and journalist Selwyn Manning examine why there is a trend toward military dictatorships in North Africa.

And, in particular, Paul and Selwyn analyse the reasons why countries like Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea have all become part of a challenge to a weakened western-led global order.

In this podcast, Paul and Selwyn examine why events in North Africa are connected to authoritarian multipolarity, a realignment of global power that favours the Russian Federation’s Putin regime.

And, within this context, Paul and Selwyn address the complexities of Russian Federation involvement in the African continent – involvement that includes the notorious Wagner mercenary group; Russian state controlled energy giants like Gazprom that act as envoys of the Kremlin; and how Western powers appear unable to address geopolitical and terrorist-caused instability in the region.

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The Questions include:

  • How and why have Africa’s dictators found a powerful ally in the Kremlin?
  • Who benefits from the Russian-North African alliance and what does this association look like?
  • Where does all of this leave terrorist groups, such as ISIS, in the region?
  • Why has Africa become a divide between liberal democratic and authoritarian power blocs in the emerging multipolar global constellation?


Paul and Selwyn encourage their live audience to interact while they are live with questions and comments.

To interact during the live recording of this podcast, go to Youtube.com/c/EveningReport/

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For the on-demand audience, you can also keep the conversation going on this debate by clicking on one of the social media channels below:

RECOGNITION: The MIL Network’s podcast A View from Afar was Nominated as a Top Defence Security Podcast by Threat.Technology – a London-based cyber security news publication. Threat.Technology placed A View from Afar at 9th in its 20 Best Defence Security Podcasts of 2021 category.

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  1. New boss, same as the old boss.

    Why Has North Africa Become a Fault-line-Challenge to a Western-Led Global Order?

    Because Africa has always been a fault-line-challenge between rising imperialists and established imperialists.

    Germany and Italy fought a bloody war with the US, Britain and France in North Africa to get a bigger piece of the carve up of the continent for themselves.

    China and Russia are no different.
    Capitalist economies need to expand or go into recession, they need to take control of resources and markets and territories, and deny them to their rivals.
    Imperialism is capitalist exploitation writ large on the world stage.
    Imperialist powers that came late to the carve up of Africa, have to challenge and destabilise and usurp the existing capitalist powers control in Africa in order to exert their own.
    None of these foreign rivals have the African people’s interests at heart. All of them want to expand their spheres of influence and exploitation. All of them what to subjugate, rob, exploit and impoverish the countries of Africa to benefit themselves.
    As long as capitalism exists war between the various rival powers for control of the global exploitative system is inevitable.
    Some people claim that China and Russia are not capitalist world powers seeking out exploitative trade relations. Some of these supporters of Russian and Chinese imperialism may have the temerity to claim Russian and Chinese imperialists who are plunging the globe into another world war between the imperialist powers, are doing it for the benefit of the territories and colonies they want to take over to exploit. Some of them even cheer on this coming war.

    German imperialism in Africa


    …. As a latecomer in the struggle for colonies, Germany had to settle for four territories, called “protectorates,” in Africa: Togo and Cameroon in the west, German Southwest Africa (today’s Namibia), and German East Africa (today’s Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi) in the east….

    Chinese imperialism in Africa


    China’s new military base in Africa: What it means for Europe and America
    A permanent Chinese military installation in Equatorial Guinea is the culmination of nearly a decade’s investment in Africa – and will not be the last of such bases on the continent’s Atlantic coast….

    Russian imperialism in Africa

    It doesn’t matter which imperialist bloc you support, old or new, it always ends up in atrocities and slavery.

    British imperialism in Africa

    American imperialism in Africa


    Many in Africa have long opposed the latest round of militarization on the continent, in particular the launch of the U.S. Army Command for Africa (AFRICOM) in 2007,…

    ….Opposition to a widened military presence is a feature of the African left, both to the outright viciousness of drone warfare and to “boots on the ground,” as well as to the substantial aid provided to “their” governments’ defense forces. ….
    …“While proclaiming its opposition to the installation of new foreign military bases in Africa, the African Union counted on the financial support of the United States and the European Union for the organization of this army, which was supposed to enable Africa to resolve itself its security problems … \
    making Africa a terrain of experimentation and publicity of their new instruments of death.”2 The stakes are high for us to understand these policy shifts as an adjustment to U.S. imperialism but by no means a break from it: The human toll of these “instruments of death” and their related crises threaten catastrophe on a massive scale, all the more so in the context of global pandemic.

    In reality, any reduction in U.S. forces in West Africa will be more than compensated for by an expanded presence elsewhere on the continent and globally….
    ….The African continent is an arena today of competition and conflict. Around the turn of the twenty-first century, primary commodity prices exploded, driven in no small part by the Chinese economic boom and a period of very rapid industrial growth. This boom drove an acceleration in extraction across Africa by multinationals from the Global North as well as by “rising powers” such as China, Russia, and India. From the oil fields of Nigeria to the copper mines in Zambia, from cobalt and coltan exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the platinum mines of South Africa, this wave of extraction dramatically transformed the African continent. Unprecedented rates of economic growth and accelerated foreign investment have been accompanied by increased deindustrialization, class inequality, ecological devastation, and militarization. This recent history has been described as the “new scramble for Africa,” one reminiscent of the nineteenth-century Great Power partition and the rush for colonies, markets, and raw materials. The aims of today’s imperial scramble echo many of the objectives of the prior era: the drive for commodities, economic advantage, containment of peer rivals, and the use of military might to shore up political alliances and maintain “stability.”

  2. Pat:

    Thanks for the nice summation. It gets to the heart of the matter, ie., the issue/problem is about capitalism, not about the country from which it originates (although different political regimes may support/constrain capitalism and its imperialist ambitions through things like anti-trust and labour laws, shareholder transparency regulations, corporate taxation rates etc.). But again, your point is well taken.

    You might find this of interest: https://portside.org/2023-08-07/socialism-fools-anti-imperialist-left?fbclid=IwAR2B2iq_pc9MVuGRl5nPURgW33DCixcOPy-sZX3MXMZgJ5_8lEnXqy3mXjY

    Also, this is what was hoped for in the early 20th century:


  3. You might find this of interest: https://portside.org/2023-08-07/socialism-fools-anti-imperialist-left?fbclid=IwAR2B2iq_pc9MVuGRl5nPURgW33DCixcOPy-sZX3MXMZgJ5_8lEnXqy3mXjY

    Ta for this.

    In the depth of the 1930s Depression, German fascists (and not just in Germany) gained popularity by positing themselves as the enemies of capitalism, that had ruined the lives of millions of the German people in the Depression.
    Rather than criticising or critiquing capitalism directly, Nazis, deliberately misconstrued the cause of capitalist economic collapse as being the result of a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ This diverted popular anger against capitalism itself, to a scapegoat. Leaving untouched the most rapacious and expansionist German capitalist interests alone. The Nazis were the militant champions of German capitalist interests and ambition against the rivals of German capitalist ambition and economic expansion on the world stage.

    We can see this same deliberate misconstruing, by the self called ‘Leftist’ supporters of militant Russian capitalism. According to these ‘Left’ conspiracists, the Russian imperialist’s invasion of Ukraine is not driven by chauvinism and the internal political and economic pressures and conflicts within every capitalist country, but driven by an American conspiracy against Russia. And even, in some of the darker corners of the internet, a Zionist/Jewish conspiracy.
    This diversion lets the beneficiaries of Russian capitalism, the kleptocratic Russian oligarchs who rule Russia off the hook.

    In a similar vein you might be interested in this:


    ….This pro-fascist left seems blind to any form of imperialism that is non-western in origin. It combines identity politics with egoism. Everything that happens is viewed through the prism of what it means for westerners – only white men have the power to make history….
    Leila Al-Shami

    P.S. I was in Syria in 2010 as a volunteer on the Kia Gaza mission in support of the Palestinians. I am a witness against the genocidal fascist Assad regime, a close ally/client of the Russian imperialists.

  4. great podcast – the king is dead, long live the king. whilst I hate to say it, imperialist hegemony is only going to get more outrageous as the planets limited resources get harder and harder to plunder. I’d be interested in a look at the practical things New Zealand can do to defend itself from a future of resource depletion as nations keep “searching” for resourcing.

  5. It is because the unelected head of the West, the USA, is collapsing. This has led to them turning on China and Russia, whom had no other option but to band together to help fend off this US-led turn of unfortunate events. Thus, China and Russia are now well and truly in the same boat as every other nation that has been under the hammer of the Western world. But in China and Russia, the bullied now have some powerful nations in their ranks to turn to, to help counter Western actions and the events in Africa simply drive home this new reality. And again, the USA is collapsing and it will take down anybody, be it friend or foe, to stay a top of the world.

    • Russia and China are rising and will take down anybody, be it friend or foe, to get on top of the world.

      There you go A O, fixed it for ya.

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