- Following Russia’s resurgence in Africa, attempts to influence the media landscape and perceptions on the continent are clear.
- Through state-owned media outlets, Russia is striving to create narratives that portray itself as an ally, while discrediting Africa’s traditional partners such as France and the US.
- Attempts to influence the media landscape have proven somewhat effective in Africa, where Russia’s anti-imperialist credentials find resonance. However, African countries also have agency and exercise choices about who their partners will be according to their own interests.
- Social media is a key aspect of Russia’s media strategy in Africa. Online influence campaigns are intended to sow confusion and cast doubt on the legitimacy and presence of foreign actors on the continent.
- Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter have become adept at identifying inauthentic behaviour. This, together with low levels of connectivity on the continent, could prove to be a challenge for Russia.
- Although Russia has managed to restore its image as a genuine power in some parts of the continent, it does so on a limited budget and, so far, with limited benefit.