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Countries fight ‘propaganda war’ to gain influence in Africa

January 2023
Several countries are trying to increase their media presence in Africa to win influence and benefit from the continent’s resources and business opportunities.

News organizations in Africa funded by foreign governments are in the middle of what French newspaper Le Monde diplomatique has called a “propaganda war.”

Turkey, Russia and China are among countries using own news organizations to help them improve their image in Africa.

The strategy is similar to what the likes of France, the US and the UK have done throughout history with media outlets such as France 24, the BBC World Service/Empire Service and the Voice of America.

Le Monde diplomatique explains:

“This media battle is a direct consequence of an international scramble for Africa, the third of its kind in history. The first was between 1880 and 1914, when the colonization of African territory by foreign powers rose from 10% to 90%. The second was during the cold war, when the two blocs forced countries to choose a side.”
African countries are increasingly seen as important strategic and commercial partners in part because they’re rich in natural resources such as cobalt, fossil fuels and gold.

Reference shelf:
Scramble to be Africa’s window on the world (Le Monde diplomatique)

2023 will be a busy year for elections in Africa (The Economist)

More by WONKedition:
Cobalt’s strategic importance lures US, China to Congo

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