American and Russian interest in Africa grew considerably in the last decade. Be it in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Sahel or North Africa, the presence of Washington and Moscow is heavily felt. In this workshop, we will focus on North Africa.
Indeed, the U.S. participated in the NATO campaign to topple Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi regime; deployed considerable financial means to support the democratic transition in Egypt (until 2013), Morocco and Tunisia; and engaged with Algeria on a series of unprecedented Strategic Dialogue and other economy and security-focused meetings. The head of AFRICOM, moreover, is on regular tours in the region, and the U.S. army has had a number of operations in Libya and Tunisia.
Russia, in between, lost a close ally in Gaddafi. It is also worried about recent developments in Algeria, whose regime is the largest buyer of Russian weapons in Africa. Therefore, we have seen an increased outreach by Russian leaders to North Africa’s different governments: multiple tours by foreign minister Sergei Lavrov; regular Moscow visits by local political, military and civil society leaders; peace initiative for Libya; etc. Most recently, growing rumors and leaks pointed to possible Russian military presence in Libya.
What is behind both countries’ attention to North Africa, on historic and economic levels? Do these interests conflict or complete each other? How? And how is that perceived by North Africans?
In partnership with The Harriman Institute, Columbia Global Centers | Tunis organises a 2-day workshop on Geopolitical Interplays in North Africa: between Washington and Moscow on the 27 & 28 of May 2021.