Études de l'Ifri Focus Stratégique

La compétition stratégique en Afrique : approches militaires américaine, chinoise et russe Focus stratégique, No. 91, August 2019

While it was left behind from power politics for the last decades, Africa is at the core of a renewed attention from global powers.


Africa was a crucial geopolitical stake during the Cold War, and is once again emerging as a significant area of strategic competition. Thereby, it attracts major non-European powers such as the United States, China, and Russia. Each of them seek to secure their access to the African theater of operations, through the means of funding and diplomatic agreements, construction of logistical bases, and the sustained exercise of their soft powers. They also conduct military operations on African soil. As the United States are still primarily engaged in Africa for counter-terrorism purposes, their actions on the ground are significant and coercive. As for China, its main efforts seem to be directed towards peacekeeping operations and plans for the evacuation of its nationals in the event of a crisis. For its part, Russia still restricts its operations to advisory activities. Finally, the three states are actively engaged in military cooperation, not only through arms sales, but also through joint training and exercises with their African partners. While the United States is still the dominant player in the African game, China and Russia are now catching up and increasing their involvement.

This content is available in French : « La compétition stratégique en Afrique. Approches militaires américaine, chinoise et russe ».


Armed forces Defense Afrique China Russia United States