Africa: Russia Invades Ukraine - The Fallout for the Continent

Martin Kimani, Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations, addresses the emergency Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine on February 23, 2022.
25 February 2022

Cape Town — The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have repercussions for the African continent, analysts say.

After the invasion began on Thursday February 24, 2022, the African Union reacted by expressing extreme concern at "the very serious and dangerous situation created in Ukraine", while the South African government called on Russia to withddraw. CNN reports that the Kenyan ambassador to the United Nations used Africa's past to warn that clinging to the legacies of colonialism risked "new forms of domination and oppression". (View his comments on YouTube).

Thousands of African students are trapped in the country. Deutsche Welle reports that some 4,000 Nigerian students are currently studying in the Ukraine, along with 8,000 from Morocco and 3,500 from Egypt. There are South African students in the city of Kharkiv, the Daily Maverick reports. All are desperate to leave, but flights are grounded and other options are limited.

The Nigerian government has announced plans to evacuate its citizens. Nigeria's foreign affairs ministry said it "has been reassured by the Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine of the safety of Nigerians in that country," and said measures were "being undertaken to keep them safe and facilitate the evacuation of those who wish to leave", Voice of America reports.

Russia has increased its presence on the continent in recent years and is scheduled to host a Russia-Africa summit this November, writes Linda Givetash for Voice of America. She quotes Irina Filatova, professor at Russia's Higher School of Economics University, as saying: 'Will it be the new cold war, or will it be the new hot war? We still do not know. But whatever it is, Africa is one, is going to be one of the victims of it.".

In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, international stock markets were turbulent. The Daily Maverick reports that oil and gas prices surged.

Wandile Sihlobo writes in The Conversation Africa that wheat and other grains are back at the heart of geopolitics as both Russia and Ukraine play a major role in the global agricultural market. Ukraine exported US$2.9 billion worth of agricultural products to the African continent in 2020. About 48% of this was wheat, 31% maize, and the rest included sunflower oil, barley, and soybeans. The fear among analysts is that an intensifying conflict could disrupt trade with significant consequences for global food stability, he writes.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.