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Afrique : La Russie va augmenter son engagement dans 19 pays (dont l’Algérie) dans les années à venir, selon un think tank américain

Un influent think tank estime que trois sous-régions du continent sont particulièrement perméables à une plus forte présence économique et militaire de Moscou. 

Le think tank américain Rand Corporation a estimé, dans une récente étude, que la Russie dispose de bonnes conditions pour accroître son engagement économique et militaire dans dix-neuf pays africains dans les années à venir, rapporte ce jeudi l’agence Ecofin.

Rand Corporation, qui affirme avoir utilisé des « techniques innovantes de visualisation géospatiale » pour établir une cartographie des pays « Russia friendly », précise que cinq Etats situés majoritairement en Afrique du Nord offrent des « conditions idéales » pour un renforcement de l’engagement de la Russie sur le continent : la Libye, le Soudan, l’Egypte, l’Algérie et la République centrafricaine.

« Il s’agit d’États où la Russie a déjà un niveau substantiel d’implication et où les principales sociétés militaires privées (SMP) tirent déjà des revenus importants. Il serait surprenant que l’engagement de la Russie n’augmente pas dans chacun de ces cinq pays dans les prochaines années », souligne étude intitulée « La présence croissante de la Russie en Afrique : une évaluation géostratégique » (Russia’s Growing Presence in Africa : A Geostrategic Assessment).

A un degré moindre, quatorze autres pays situés pour la plupart en Afrique de l’Ouest en Afrique centrale offrent aussi des conditions locales favorables à une plus grande présence russe, d’après le think tank classé comme l’un des plus puissants du monde. Ces pays où Moscou « dispose d’un minimum d’influence actuellement » sont le Gabon, le Nigeria, le Tchad, la Guinée, le Rwanda, le Soudan du Sud, l’Angola, le Cameroun, la RD Congo, la Guinée-Bissau, Madagascar, le Mozambique, l’Afrique du Sud et le Zimbabwe.

Les autres pays du continent offrent des conditions « faibles » ou « très faibles » pour un plus grand engagement de la Russie.

Elites locales à la recherche d’un parrainage extérieur 

Selon Rand Corporation, les principaux vents porteurs pour un accroissement de l’engagement russe dans les pays africains sont « les fortes relations politiques et diplomatiques ; les relations commerciales et économiques préexistantes ; les opportunités lucratives dans le secteur des industries extractives et les élites locales à la recherche d’un parrainage extérieur ».

L’étude fait remarquer par ailleurs que, même si l’influence de la Russie en Afrique demeure « modeste » en comparaison avec celles de la Chine et des Etats-Unis, Moscou s’efforce depuis quelques années d’élargir la portée et l’ampleur de son engagement sur le continent.

Elle précise cependant que « l’approche de la Russie en Afrique est essentiellement opportuniste » étant donné qu’elle est guidée par trois facteurs clés : faire avancer les objectifs politiques approuvés par le Kremlin, récolter des gains rapides à des risques faibles, et capitaliser sur les opportunités de profit extraordinaires qu’offrent les économies de rente dans les pays africains.

Rand Corporation, qui offre des services de conseil au Pentagone et à l’armée de l’air américaine, indique dans ce cadre que les échanges commerciaux entre la Russie et l’Afrique demeurent modestes (environ 12 milliards par an), et concentrés essentiellement sur la sous-région de l’Afrique du Nord.   

Le think tank relève d’autre part que la plupart des entreprises russes, qui opèrent notamment dans le secteur des industries extractives en Afrique, sont détenues totalement ou partiellement par l’Etat et presque toutes liées au cercle du président Valdimir Poutine.

Il souligne cependant un renforcement « notable » de la coopération militaire entre la Russie et de nombreux pays africains. Ce renforcement se manifeste notamment dans la hausse des ventes d’armes (plus de 2 milliards de dollars par an) et la forte présence des sociétés militaires privées, qui auraient réalisé « 34 opérations » sur le continent depuis 2005.


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