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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Political science, Media and socio-cultural communication, Interdisciplinary

Publication Details

South African Journal of International Affairs


This article examines Russian public diplomacy mechanisms in Africa. These include the intentional use of historical ties, various aid programmes in education and health, the targeted use of international broadcasting and digital media, and the exploitation of anti-Western sentiments on the continent. Russia employs these to win the hearts and minds of African publics for its national interest. The article first explores Moscow’s public diplomacy in general and analyses the challenges Russia faces in Africa, which has become a ‘dumping ground’ for public diplomacy campaigns by the US, the EU and its members, the UK, and China. The article argues that Russia’s public diplomacy in Africa is state-centric with little or no civil society involvement. This makes its message appear incredible. The article concludes that Russian public diplomacy efforts in Africa have intensified anti-Western sentiments in African countries where Moscow’s presence is strong.