New World Order: From The Legacy Of Colonialism To Sovereignty And Development – OpEd


Many of today’s problems affecting the majority of the world, including Africa and Russia, are a direct consequence of the persistence of old colonialism and the imposition of renewed forms of colonialism. 

Conversely, the notorious prosperity of the West can be attributed to the rules of a predatory world order generated by this colonial legacy. The justifications, forms and technologies of colonialism have changed over the centuries, but to this day their disastrous consequences have not been fully overcome. 

The “golden billion” continue to feed their prosperity and finance the maintenance of their “freedoms and values” by siphoning off all kinds of resources from the majority of the world. This is vital for it to maintain this world order in perpetuity. Russia, Africa and most other countries do not agree to submit to such a dictatorship. 

Today it is increasingly clear that a new world order is irreversible. Its foundations are political, economic, cultural and informational sovereignty, true equality, development and prosperity of citizens, universally agreed norms of international law and mutual respect, the rejection of neocolonial plunder and of all modern forms of colonial exploitation and oppression. 

How does Russia see Africa’s role in the new world order? What forms of new colonialism are being imposed on the global majority by the West today? How can Russia and Africa cooperate in strengthening the sovereignty of international cooperation members and countering the diktat of powers that aspire to world hegemony? 

Can Africa play a critical role in resolving a number of the world’s problems, including the resolution of the most severe international conflicts? What place in word and deed does the West ascribe to Africa in its models of world order? Why do Western politicians’ words and deeds in Africa diverge?

Russia and Africa are working together to ensure Africa’s sovereignty. The outcomes of the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg showed that Russia is willing to work hard to compete in Africa, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

He described the competition between several countries in their approaches to the African continent as a “normal process”. “We have to work hard to keep up with this competition. It is a great responsibility and a lot of work. The summit has shown that we are ready for this work,” Peskov added.

The Russian Ministry of Economic Development also proposed to send additional employees of embassies and trade missions to Africa and to create an additional department for work with African countries. African countries regard Russia as a trustworthy partner in their quest for economic independence, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov said on Wednesday.

“African countries are shifting from a struggle for political sovereignty and independence to a struggle for economic sovereignty. They regard us as a trustworthy partner in these processes, willing to provide Russian businesses the opportunity to grow and prosper. And we are eager to share our knowledge and technologies,” he added.

“We had a substantive and engaging exchange of views on the entire range of themes of strategic cooperation between Russia and African countries. We have identified the main areas for further joint work and outlined plans to strengthen foreign policy coordination and increase trade and investment flows, as well as industrial cooperation between Russia and the countries of the African continent,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his closing speech at the second plenary session, posted tothe official Kremlin website.

It is, however, expected that the results will form a good foundation for the further deepening the Russian-African partnership in the interests of the prosperity and well-being of the peoples both Russia and Africa.

Despite unprecedented pressure from the West, the forum and summit were attended by official delegations from 48 countries (27 countries were represented by the head of state or the second highest official) and the five largest integration associations of the continent.

The summit resulted in the adoption of five key documents:

  1. Declaration of the second Russia – Africa summit
  2. Declaration of the second Russia – Africa summit on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space
  3. Declaration of the second Russia – Africa summit on Cooperation to Ensure International Information Security
  4. Declaration of the second Russia – Africa summit on Strengthening Cooperation to Combat Terrorism
  5. Action Plan of the Russia – Africa Partnership Forum for 2023–2026

Two documents were also signed with leading African integration associations in Vladimir Putin’s presence:

  1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Government and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on fundamental issues concerning relations and cooperation
  2. Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Government and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on fundamental issues concerning relations and cooperation

By the joint declaration, Russia and Africa seek to build on the historical and time-tested friendly bilateral ties. It further reaffirmed the need to jointly oppose neo-colonialism, and support the influence of Africa as an essential pillar of the multipolar world.

That marked the second time the summit events of such a magnitude with a focus on a wide range of relations between Russia and the States of the African continent were held. Organized by the Roscongress Foundation, St. Petersburg hosted the second Russia-Africa summit on 27–28 July 2023. 

Professor Maurice Okoli

Professor Maurice Okoli is a fellow at the Institute for African Studies and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences. He is also a fellow at the North-Eastern Federal University of Russia. He is an expert at the Roscongress Foundation and the Valdai Discussion Club. As an academic researcher and economist with keen interest in current geopolitical changes and the emerging world order, Maurice Okoli frequently contributes articles for publication in reputable media portals on different aspects of the interconnection between developing and developed countries, particularly in Asia, Africa and Europe. With comments and suggestions, he can be reached via email: [email protected]

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