[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] O [/yt_dropcap]n October 10 next, elections will be held in Liberia to elect the President and the Legislative Assembly, as well as the Senate. In 2009 the National Electoral Commission of the African country, which is formally independent of both the government and Parliament, already accepted a substantial funding of 17.5 million US dollars directly from USAID to properly manage the previous elections of 2004 and 2014.
Still today the US Agency supports Liberia with various programs, all effective and necessary.
When criticizing US foreign policy, we should also recall the thousands of volunteers who travel everywhere, with sincere evangelical spirit, to help peoples in developing countries.
The Liberian Senate consists of two senators for each of the fifteen regions in which the African nation is divided. The term of each Senator lasts nine years. The House of Representatives has only 73 members.
As far as we know, there is no specific public American support for next October’s elections.
Nevertheless, we are aware of the current US support to the various Liberian initiatives for better managing its national institutions, with specific reference to their functioning vis-à-vis citizens; the respect for the Rule of Law; freedom of information; the technical management of farmland and the strengthening of free people associations – briefly the “civil society” network that is essential to freedom and democracy, as Hegel taught us.
These are the only possible rational proposals to prevent the African youth bulge – now widespread in all the regions of the Black Continent – from turning directly to Europe, thus undermining its Welfare State and disrupting its labour market.
In spite of the too many considerations made, Europe has not the will, rational programs or money to help Africa before its peoples arriving massively in it.
Conversely, the United States knows Africa very well and it is not by mere coincidence that in 2007 it founded the Africa Command, together with 53 African States, but established its headquarters in Europe, precisely in Stuttgart.
Not surprisingly, from May 19 to 30, the United States run the African exercise United Accord 2017 to train local soldiers and monitor the African regions around Ghana.
Then there is China. This is one of the real points of interest and substantial future development for Africa.
Without China, there will be no real economic transformation across the Black Continent – hence not even in Liberia.
It is worth recalling that Sierra Leone and Liberia were, respectively, the countries established by US and British slaves freed in 1820 and in the 1840s, respectively.
The humanitarian and moral motivation was obvious, but there was also a strategic goal: when there was the “rush to Africa” by the European continental powers, control networks of France, Great Britain, Germany and Italy had to be created to prevent the European regional powers from getting a big head.
Neither the United States nor Britain have ever stopped thinking that the States of the Eurasian peninsula are, indeed, dangerous global competitors.
To date, however, the United States depends on Africa for a quarter of its oil imports, while China depends on Africa for over a quarter of its oil imports.
Hence no more of those endless, tragic and especially stupid regional wars, like Rwanda’s and the two Liberian civil wars.
Cold War relics that survived even after the end of the bipolar confrontation, like Princess Sissi on the Geneva pier after being stabbed by the usual Italian anarchist.
At the beginning, Rwanda’s war was instigated by a European intelligence service, while the two Liberian civil wars by some local officers’ hunger for money and by small squabbles between neighboring states.
And by some big Western companies.
Finally no more with that idea – which today is really crazy – to replicate the old divisions of the Cold War in Africa, with so many small geopolitical frogs that swell up until bursting.
Or possibly trying to make third-rate local dictators cherish the illusion that revenue, and raw materials to be sold cheaply to the stupid Westerners, can be extracted – with such unnecessary and cruel violence – from an exhausted people.
We, in the West, we are not stupid at all. We do not need shady brokers who manage raw materials as if they were local monopolists. We do not even want Africa to become not a series of failed states, but a whole continent doomed to disaster.
Again, no more with the idea that the Black Continent is a reserve of raw materials and nothing else, or a region where anything is allowed, even at the expense of Europeans themselves, who, for example, are still paying the fixed exchange rate of the CFA franc against the euro.
Not at all, Africa is a huge continent that must be respected and quickly put back on its legs – just to use again a Hegelian metaphor – and, above all, should not be considered a mere reservoir of raw materials that others process.
By paraphrasing the slogan of Mao Zedong’s first speech as President in Tiananmen Square: the African people have stood up!
Hence work must return to Africa. It must certainly be cheaper than in Europe, but its cost must be such as to change the social, economic and civil system of the Black Continent.
Instead of sending so many African raw materials to intermediate processing areas, which are equally, if not more, distant from the primary consumption areas, namely ours, it would be good to teach to a stupid globalization how to enhance the great local African potential.
We can no longer imagine a geopolitics of the Black Continent managed by ongoing and very harsh conflicts – and, indeed, Liberia is a tragic evidence of this, with its civil war between 1989 and 1996 and its second phase between 1999 and 2003.
All conflicts between the usual third-rate dictators operating for the second lines of the old global powers, new masters who thought to repeat the old game of the great powers – the “Great Game or the Tournament of Shadows”, as the Russians called it – with few means, no effective geopolitical idea and no command.
Not even of the network of raw materials brokers – and this is really serious. Certainly prices increased, but consumption plunged.
Let us now revert to Liberia’s elections scheduled for next October.
The President of the country is elected with a two-round system, while, as already said, the Legislative Assembly, composed of 73 members, is elected with the first past the post system, designed more by bookmakers for horse-race betting than by serious political scientists.
It is an electoral mechanism granting election to the candidate who has achieved the parity of votes, but who may also have even one single vote more than his/her direct competitor.
Its effects are obvious: clientelism and political patronage, corruption, electoral manipulation, unfulfilled promises, excessive power of the local ringleaders of the various candidates.
It would have been good also for Sicily in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Currently there are nine Presidential candidates.
There is Alexander B. Cummings, Head of the Liberian Alternative National Congress, former Coca Cola manager, who is currently President of the Cummings Africa Foundation.
Then there is George Weah, a well-known (and very talented) football player who spent four years in Italy.
Today, after two elections the outcome of which was not positive for him, he has been a member of the Liberian Assembly since 2014.
Another candidate is Joseph Boakai, Vice-President until January 2006, but already manager of the Liberia Wood Management Corporation and of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company.
Once again, oil.
Liberia does not have it, but it has approximately one billion offshore reserves divided into 30 concessions, 17 deep sea and 13 ultra-deep sea ones. As early as 2011, Exxon Mobil had already started oil exploration, but the Ebola virus epidemic had blocked everything.
In 2017, but only at the end of the year, Exxon Mobil will resume explorations. Do you think this is not alien to the October elections? You are perfectly right.
The candidates also include Charles Walker Boakine, a lawyer and partner of a major law firm in Monrovia.
Head of the Liberty Party, and former ally of the Congress for Democratic Change – currently the two old coalition parties which, in European terms, we would define as center-left – are sworn enemies.
Another Presidential candidate is Prince Johnson, current Senior Senator from the Nimba County, former rebel general who is notorious for publicly slaying coup leader and ex-President Samuel K. Doe, during the First Liberian War (1989-1997), and narrowly failing to kill the kleptocrat James Taylor, who became President of Liberia in 1997.
It is worth noting with some malice that the Guinness Book of Records reports that the 1927 Liberian presidential election was the most fraudulent in world history – but even today the situation has not changed so much.
The 2017 Presidential candidates include Benoni Urei, a wealthy businessman, as well as two other businessmen, namely Jeremiah Wapoe and Richard Miller.
However, to put it frankly, our favourite candidate is Macdella Cooper.
She has long established the foundation, bearing her name, for the health and cultural and civil development of Liberian children and women.
When the first local civil war broke out, she was at first exiled to the Ivory Coast and later migrated to the United States in 1993.
She got a degree in Communication at the College of New Jersey and later her life was characterized by work and experiences designed to better know the world.
She started as mannequin in the high fashion world and then began fashion designer for the most famous griffes of the international fashion industry, both in the United States and Europe.
In 2003, she launched her foundation, with offices in Charlesville, Margibi County, Liberia.
There Macdella Cooper drafted her political program – a rational and practicable program, but especially useful for everyone.
First and foremost, free education for all Liberian children.
Currently, in Liberia, the literacy rate is 63.5% for boys and 32.2% for girls and young women.
The adult literacy rate is very low, namely 42.9%, while currently only 41% of all children attend primary school.
No country can really survive with these education statistics.
These are figures which can only pave the way for illegal recruitment of workers for very low wages, endemic hunger, the low but inevitable technological level of local, foreign or national industries and – as is natural – the criminal degeneration of politics and, hence, of public spending.
Hence how to fund this new and smart African Welfare State, which is even more unlikely in a country, such as Liberia, having all institutions, even the most irrational ones, modeled on the Anglo-Saxon idea, as Carroll Quigley – Clinton’s ignored professor – called it?
Macdella proposes to check the Liberian natural resources.
It is an excellent idea.
However, we have to come to terms with what Stiglitz calls the resource curse and also with the excessive volatility of commodity prices dominated by Western futures and hence by speculation that focuses on raw materials when there is nothing else to attack.
Therefore, either a price and sales Authority is set up, being careful of international prices, but above all of not being cheated – a national and State body – but it is precisely the “resource curse” theorized by Stiglitz which makes us think that it becomes a rent seeking area.
Or Liberian raw materials, agricultural produce, gold, iron, diamonds, rubber, precious wood are sold to the highest bidder – with an auction regulated by international customary practices and Liberian laws.
The customers are the following: China, the United States – since the devil is not so black as he is painted – and Israel.
In the case of rare raw materials, part of the price is always set by the supply.
Finally, when you have to increase the price of what is sold, the supply is diversified. Do you not want Liberian gold? We will sell it to China or Japan.
Furthermore, Macdella focuses on health.
A central issue in the country where Ebola caused at least 11,000 victims.
Not to mention malnutrition, corruption and the lack of public health facilities, subject to the crazy and vicious religion of “liberalization”.
Obviously if you liberalize business activities, the average income increases, but are we sure that a job providing you two additional dollars a day can also make you afford good treatments and therapies?
This is the fallacy of the general argument, as already maliciously described by Pareto.
In fact, in Liberia 35% of health costs are borne by the patients themselves, who are statistically the poorest people. A reverse economic rationale.
Furthermore, for some time in 2015, the whole African country was deprived of 77% of its basic medicines.
As Macdella recalls, Ebola was largely defeated by the Liberian people’s good will and by international aid – less significant than it is believed – as well as by China’s efforts, in particular.
How can the Liberian public health system be paid – a system that is essential as education or even more to tackle the problem of underdevelopment?
A WHO share to be set, which is transferred by the World Health Organization – a share of structural aid (medicines, hospitals, training centers for doctors and nursing staff) funded by the EU, which now believes that today’s Africa is still the same as that of the Roman ancient imperial maps, bearing the warning hic sunt leones (“here are lions”) – as well as a large share of international volunteers and finally direct support by China and Israel.
In other words, my dear Liberian friends and my dear Macdella, if you immediately sell yourself to one single master, your price will drop until you cannot even pay the production costs.
In less metaphorical terms, do not let anybody handcuff you, both in the East and in the West.
You will see then how, magically, the prices of your raw materials will stabilize.
Once again, Macdella Cooper wants free access to healthcare – otherwise the phrase attributed to Marie Antoinette of France when alerted that the people were suffering due to widespread bread shortages, “Then let them eat brioches”, would echo also in Monrovia.
Liberalism has been invented by the theorists of the Mont Pèlerin Society as a tool for the general increase of incomes. However, if people have to pay everything by themselves, namely pensions, healthcare and education, can you tell me how can earnings and savings be increased? Are they all rich people there?
And to think that the Code of Camaldoli, drafted at the end of World War II by the best Catholic intellectuals in Italy, had already solved everything.
Let us now talk about electricity, which reaches only 10% of Liberian households.
Sometimes, in Liberia, there is also a lack of fuel, managed by the local monopoly.
My dear Macdella Cooper, what if your internal monopoly broke and possibly our ENI could set in, since it has a formidable and long-standing tradition of balanced policy and respect for the African peoples?
And it just so happens that electricity is supplied only by diesel generators.
Who manages them, apart from the private ones? You have certainly already understood it.
In 2015 the Millennium Fund signed a 257 million US dollar contract for restructuring the Mount Coffee hydroelectric power plant, but an autonomous authority is required to regulate the energy system.
Autonomous Authorities reporting only to Macdella Cooper if she is elected President, as we hope, are the administrative and political key not to have to do with the huge, corrupt, enemy local bureaucracy.
You should remember, Ms. Macdella Cooper, that – as Machiavelli said – men “must be either pampered or annihilated.”
Another fair and topical issue is decentralization.
The issue lies in providing services, healthcare and education to all Liberians, thus avoiding the destiny of the big cities generated solely by great poverty, as already happened in Haiti, in Latin America and certainly also in Africa – just think of Cairo or the South African Federation.
The decentralization program in Liberia is old and dates back to 2012. So far it has been supported by the EU and by the Liberian government itself, as well as by the efficient and humanitarian Swedish government and by Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the UN and by the United Nations Development Program.
Perfect, but are we sure that, in peripheral areas, the Liberian bureaucracy behaves as when it is closely scrutinized?
Another key issue in Macdella Cooper’s program is the distribution of land ownership.
This is the political axis to develop the new Liberia.
In March 2017 actions were started to support the Lands Right Act, which envisages a role for civil society organizations in managing new, safe and stable rights for land cultivation and ownership, the sale of agricultural produce and for maintaining these rights for a sufficient period of time.
Hence for stabilizing – at the highest level – farmers, the real future middle class of the new, free and rich Liberia.
The EU representative for these issues in Monrovia is a brilliant Italian official, Alberto Menghini.
Owners must always be created in rural areas.
Just think of the importance for the Italian history of the land struggles, supported by the Catholic union movement (Miglioli’s peasant leagues) and by the Socialist one, often even “softer” than the Catholics’ struggles for land ownership.
You can understand nothing of Italy if you do not recall the cry “the land to the peasants”, which characterized Socialists, Catholics, Republicans and finally the Fascists supporting “full land reclamation”.
The land to the peasants, the land to those who cultivate it, must still be the cry of all responsible African political forces.
Hence, as Macdella Cooper rightly says, the customary rights and those established by everyone and long time ago must not be eradicated. On the contrary, a census of said rights must be possibly carried out and this agricultural pourparler must be replaced by real ownership rights.
As Macdella says, never eliminate the commons.
She is perfectly right.
If England had not abolished the agricultural commons to favour the migration of the impoverished and hungry masses to work for nothing in Manchester’s factories, it would not have recorded the huge food crises of the nineteenth century.
Hence, as a sign of support and friendship, I have made some considerations on Macdella Cooper’s program for Presidential elections in Liberia.
I hope they will bring her luck.
Kenya’s Peter Mathuki appointed as Head of EAC Secretariat
Kenya’s Peter Mutuku Mathuki has been appointed to head the East African Community (EAC), the regional bloc that brings East African countries under one umbrella. Mathuki replaces Burundi’s Liberat Mfumukeko, whose five-year term ended early 2021. The post is usually rotational for five years.
As Secretary-General of the regional bloc, his key tasks include regional development, increasing inter-regional trade and addressing investment possibilities for both potential internal and external investors.
According to his profile, Mathuki has worked as Executive Director at the East African Business Council, and consequently emerged as the top candidate for the new position. Over the years, he has been dealing with the corporate business sector, and believed to have sufficient experience and contacts useful to address incessant wrangles in the East African Community.
Mathuki previously served as a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, chairing the Committee on Legal Affairs and Good Governance as well as Accounts, Trade and Investment.
He has held political positions in Kenya and in international bodies including the International Labour Standards at the former International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU-Africa), now ITUC-Africa, which he served as director. He was also a consultant for European Union programmes in Kenya.
Mathuki comes on board as the African continent implements the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) agreement, where he has been involved in the creation of the nascent African Business Council. Trading under this AfCFTA began on January 1, 2021 and opens up more opportunities for both local African and foreign investors from around the world.
Mathuki was taken on as a rectification strategy by Kenya, following a low-key leadership by Mfumukeko. Under his term, countries routinely skipped summits and member states wrangled over tariffs and political accusations. His secretariat faced financial constraints as member states delayed remitting their membership dues and donors reduced funding following allegations of corruption.
The latest report from the East African Community Secretariat for this year shows, for example, that South Sudan is the most indebted member of the EAC. It owes US$24.6 million in funding towards the main budget even though it should pay up to US$32.4 million including this year’s dues. It should also pay US$2.8 million to the Inter-University Council of East Africa and another US$345,000 to the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.
The main budget usually funds the operations of the EAC Secretariat, the East African Court of Justice, the East African Legislative Assembly and other bodies dealing with specified fields. The Secretary-General is the principal executive and accounting officer of the community as well as the secretary of the summit and serves for a fixed period of five years.
Many businesses and market players perceive the region as progressively stable for long-term beneficial business, investment and trade. With a combined population estimated at 173 million, the region is relatively large. The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organization composed of six countries in the Great Lakes region in Eastern Africa. The members are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
A Fault Line Named Farmajo
Somalia, a country of many political fault lines that indicate looming earthquakes of great magnitude, now has a new one- the Farmajo fault. Mohmed Abdullahi Farmajo is the malignantly polarizing president of Somalia.
Two of the Farmajo fault’s severe foreshocks or preliminary shakers have occurred on Thursday 18 February and Friday 19 February. In the first one, government troops have attacked two former presidents and current candidates at a hotel where they were organizing to lead a peaceful march against Farmajo’s illegally delayed election the next day.
The second one occurred on Friday when the government fired indiscriminately at a peacefully marching citizens led by Farmajo’s former prime minister, former ministers and a few other candidates. An estimate of twenty people was reported dead or seriously injured.
That was the most callous act that any leader or ruler could have ordered at a time of high political volatility. It is the opinion of this author that that has ended Farmajo’s political future. He severely wounded himself in his first reckless attack and committed suicide in his second.
Nature of the Violation
According to Article 19 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
And, according to Article 20:
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
These universal rights coupled with the freedoms expressed in Somalia’s provisional constitution, affirm that those whose Friday march was violently aborted had the right to protest and chant ‘Doorasho diid dooni meyno!’ which means we don’t want election refuser. No one should be bullied, violently attacked, injured, or killed for their verbal expressions of discontent.
What was witnessed in Mogadishu in that bloody protest was something not seen in a number of decades. The protesters were not those often seen in the streets of Mogadishu- IDPs and other poor women draped in the Somali flags who are stationed in street corners, under the baking sun, to get paid a few dollars at the end of the day, and children shouting slogans that they do not understand.
Any government that resorts to violence in order to silence its opposition, activists, or dissidents inevitably loses its legitimacy. So more often than not, such government’s days become numbered.
Anyone who has been following my commentaries on Somalia knows that I neither support nor think the opposition (any one of the 14 presidential candidates) could help save this nation that is sinking deeply into quicksand of distrust, for that requires more than election. Yet, I—like many others who have no horse in this bloody race—am committed to defend their right to publicly and privately express their political views.
Spin Doctors of Halane
The aforementioned Friday violence occurred within a walking distance from Halane (Somalia’s Green Zone) and key actors in that compound were well aware, at least for a few days before the event, that an anti-Farmajo protest would led by a coalition of presidential candidates who felt scorned and disenfranchised by the ‘Madaxweynaha uu xiligiisu dhamaaday’ or the President whose term has ended.
In reaction, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) @UNSOM offered this solution “The UN in #Somalia notes that the clashes in #Mogadishu underscore the urgent need for Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders to come together to reach political agreement on the implementation of the 17 September electoral model.”
The U.S. Embassy in Somalia followed with a paraphrased version of the same statement from another planet. ” We urge an end to all violence and remind all parties of their commitment to immediately conclude an FGS-FMS agreement on #election implementation.”
Interestingly, the referenced ‘electoral model’ is at the heart of the presidential candidates’ grievance. They were denied to be part of it. These statements on behalf of the U.N. and U.S. were adding insult to an injury. As a result, the coalition of presidential candidates reasserted their position of not considering Farmajo as a legal president and that they would continue protesting until he comes back to his senses.
In solidarity with the disenfranchised presidential candidates, both the leader of Puntland federal-state and Jubbaland federal-state (who were at odds with Farmajo for long) have declared said agreement null and void. The 19 February bloody event has killed 17 September agreement.
In a no hold barred televised speech, President Said Abdullahi Deni of Puntland said “We are not going to a conference with Farmajo…” He described Farmajo as a “dictator” who has been dividing the country, and warned against regression into a renewed civil war.
1) Allow the candidates and all others who want to march to do so freely, and all domestic and foreign stakeholders should support their right to do so
2) Farmajo must be pressured to step aside without being barred of participation in the election- a constitutional right that he cannot be denied
3) The 2009 precedent should not be followed. When then controversial president, Abdullahi Yusuf, was pressured to step aside, his Prime Minister, Nur Adde, was asked to lead the country while a new government was being formed in Djibouti. Nur Adde was not seen as partisan as the current Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, who recently declared to unilaterally conduct elections without Puntland and Jubbaland
4) Since no official in the Executive or the Lower and the Upper House branches has a mandate to lead the country while stakeholders are negotiating the right model of election and implementing it, the Speaker of the Upper House, Abdi Hashi, should be entrusted with that responsibility for the following reasons:
a) He is a tower of patriotism among the current politicians
b) He is the oldest, most ethical, and indeed most credible member of the parliament
c) He is the only leader who has been playing by the rules
d) He is the only one who refrained from the cut-throat politics that kept all others in a state of hyper-paranoia
e) He is one of the Senators who represent Somaliland in the clan-based federal system
f) He represents one of the four ‘major clans’ in the so-called 4.5 system that never held the presidency, even transitionally
g) Once a new parliament is elected and a new president is elected or selected, Speaker Hashi clears the way for that new president
The Farmajo fault should not be underestimated. His prolonged stay could wholly tribalize the issue and subsequently make matters worse. Though the clan rhetoric has not been absent, so far the dichotomous divide between the political elite is not fueled by clan politics. Certain foreign actors possess more political leverage than the clans.
African problems require African solutions
In order to strengthen political dialogue and promote economic relations, Professor Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, held diplomatic talks on February 16, 2021 with his Russian counterpart Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg. According to reports, Professor Dussey’s visit was on the invitation by Moscow, and came on exactly one year after their last meeting February 15 in Munich.
After their closed-door discussion, Lavrov told the joint news conference that there is a mutual interest in intensifying and deepening the entire scope of bilateral ties, including trade, the economy and investment, and have agreed to look for specific opportunities for joint projects in areas such as energy, natural resources, infrastructure, transport, and agriculture.
Regarding issues on the African continent, Lavrov re-emphasized that African problems (of which there are many) require African solutions. “We strongly support the African Union, the G5 Sahel, and the sub-regional organizations in Africa, in their efforts to resolve numerous local conflicts and crises. We specifically focus on supporting the fight against terrorism, which poses a real threat, including for our friends in Togo and other coastal countries in the region of the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
In fact and as always, Lavrov reiterated Russia’s commitment to continue to act actively in pursuing peace and, to this end, called for the peaceful settlement of all kinds of differences, and reaffirmed support for sustainable development there in Africa.
Regarding issues from the last summit held in Sochi, Lavrov stressed: “We are interested in developing the resolutions of the Russia-Africa summit. We spoke in detail about the implementation of these agreements. The coronavirus pandemic has required adjustments. Nevertheless, the results on implementing the Sochi agreements are obvious. This year we will actively continue these efforts.”
The Association for Economic Cooperation with the African States was created in Russia following the 2019 Sochi summit. It includes representatives from the related departments and major Russian companies. The Russia-Africa Partnership Forum, which is a political association, was created, its secretariat is located at the Russian Foreign Ministry. The primary tasks of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum includes preparation and organization of the next Russia-Africa summit scheduled for 2022. The venue to be chosen by African leaders.
“We are still slightly behind other states, but trade between Russia and the African countries has been growing quite rapidly lately. I think we will soon make up for the time we lost in the years when, at the dawn of the new Russian statehood, we were too busy to maintain proper ties with Africa. A very strong foundation was laid in Soviet times, though,” Lavrov said further at the news conference about the current situation with relations between Russia and Africa.
It has always been the wish of both Russia and Africa to have an excellent quality of cooperation and partnership relations between the two regions and to diversify and deepen them as best as possible in order to provide an appreciable geopolitical influence and strategic power balance in Africa.
Russia and Togo, as with many other African countries, have had long time-tested relations over the years. The most recent high-level meetings were between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe during sidelined bilateral meeting in October 2019, when Gnassingbe participated in the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, and on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg in July 2018.
With an estimated population of about 7.9 million, Togo is among the smallest countries in Africa. Its economy depends highly on agriculture. Togo pursues an active foreign policy and participates in many international organizations. Relations between Togo and neighboring states are generally good. It is particularly active in West African regional affairs and in the African Union.
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