SADC Rejects US Law Against Russian Activities in Africa


By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), during its 42nd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, held on August 17 and 18, 2022, at Palais du Peuple (Parliament Building), vehemently, expressed collective opposition to a proposed United States law on countering Russian activities in Africa.

The Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act adopted by the US House of Representatives directs the US Secretary of State to submit a strategy on Russia.

According to the statement posted to its website, the 16-member regional bloc complained that the United States has made the African continent “the target of unilateral and punitive measures” and its Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee pushed the bill designed to stop President Vladimir Putin from using Africa to bypass US sanctions and fund his war in Ukraine, as well as to protect African people from human rights violations by Russian mercenaries.

The SADC leaders have, therefore, reaffirmed their collective position of non-alignment towards conflicts outside the continent. The summit was held under the theme “Promoting Industrialization through Agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth.”

“Africa Is Not For Sale. Africa is open for business not for sale or looting. We must defend what is ours and make sure that no one takes from us what is ours,” declared Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera at the summit, pointing to the bold stance against the scramble for Africa’s resources by external powers.

“If the world wants what we have they must buy in a fair trade so that we use proceeds to build ourselves new cities, new universities, new infrastructure, industries and new programmes that lift people out of poverty and vulnerability.”

President Chakwera urged African leaders and their people to build Africa and future generations not for those bent on looting its resources. He further touched on the need for Africa to define its destiny and chart a new independent course; that the resources of Africa remain in the hands of Africans but not be stolen by some people. Let us stand up with one voice and tell the World, that Africa is open for business but not for sale.

“It takes only Africans to build the African continent. No foreigners will develop the continent. We must not always look upon them because what they give us does not build anything but simply cause tension in the continent like they did in the past.”

“In that scathing speech, he further lambasted Western and Eastern countries that they must not just be in Africa to steal but to build. There is no one outside Africa who can build it, not any European, Asian or American.”

Labelled as the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act (H.R. 7311) was passed on April 27 by the House of Representatives in a bipartisan 419-9 majority and will probably be approved by the Senate which is evenly split between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Russian military operations in Ukraine are in response to Washington and Wall Street’s efforts to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) deeper into Eastern Europe as a direct threat to the interests of the Russian Federation and its allies. Two other bills have recently been passed to maintain and expand Pentagon military bases around the world along with providing an additional $40 billion to supply weapons to the Ukrainian government which is bolstered by neo-Nazi militias integrated into the armed forces.

During the early phase of the Russian special operations in Ukraine, many African states abstained from two United Nations General Assembly resolutions motivated by Washington to condemn the Russian government for its intervention in Ukraine while completely ignoring the level of fascist infiltration of Kyiv military forces and the necessity of reaching a diplomatic solution to the burgeoning conflict.

African Heads-of-State, such as President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa, have consistently argued that the African National Congress (ANC) led government in Pretoria will not support the Ukraine war along with the draconian sanctions instigated by the Biden administration. Ramaphosa has demanded that the U.S. State Department and White House support negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow, which have been routinely undermined by Biden and his cabinet members.

Long before the February 24 invasion by the Russian armed forces, the U.S. has engaged in repeated threats against President Putin and the entire government based in Moscow demanding that it acquiesce to the expansion of NATO. Unprecedented sanctions with the stated aims of completely blockading Russia from the world economic system have largely failed to curtail the advances by Moscow in eastern Ukraine.

The Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act adopted by the US House of Representatives is a well-designed legislative measure broadly worded enabling the State Department to monitor the foreign policy of the Russian Federation in Africa including military affairs and any effort that Washington deems as a malign influence.

The United States Congressional bill was approved by a wide margin that would target and punish African states that maintain political and economic relations with the Russian Federation.

On March 2 at the United Nations General Assembly, with all 193 UN Member States in attendance, a total of 141 countries voted in favour of the resolution, which reaffirmed Ukrainian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. African representatives and their votes were considered very interesting. Some 17 African countries abstained from the vote at the UN General Assembly to deplore the Russian invasion of Ukraine while some other 28 countries in the continent voted in favour.

Among those abstaining from voting were South Africa, Algeria, Uganda, Burundi, Senegal, South Sudan, Mali and Mozambique. Others were Sudan, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania and Congo.

Eritrea was the only African country that voted against the resolution. Besides that, however, Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, Chad, Ghana, Gambia, Gabon, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Liberia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Somalia, Niger, Benim, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others, voted yes.

Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Ethiopia, and Eswatini were not in the room. Uganda said it abstained from the vote to uphold “neutrality” as the incoming chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). NAM is a forum made up of 120 developing countries to assert their independence from the competing claims of the two superpowers.

In a tweet, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Adonia Ayebare, said the country would continue to play a constructive role in the maintenance of peace and security both regionally and globally.

Shahid said the resolution reflected the international community’s grave concern about the situation in Ukraine. “I join member states in expressing concern about reports of attacks on civilian facilities such as residences, schools and hospitals, and of civilian casualties, including women, older persons, persons with disabilities, and children,” he said, citing the text. In practice, African countries hold similar views on the principles of sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, even including those that voted and those that abstained.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated he was duty bound to stand by the resolution and be guided by its call. “The message of the General Assembly is loud and clear: End hostilities in Ukraine now. Silence the guns now. Open the door to dialogue and diplomacy now,” Guterres said, adding: “Looking ahead, I will continue to do everything in my power to contribute to an immediate cessation of hostilities and urgent negotiations for peace. People in Ukraine desperately need peace. And people around the world demand it.”

The SADC collectively aims at, among others, promoting sustainable and equitable economic growth and social-economic development that will ensure poverty alleviation, and improve the living standards of the people in Southern Africa. This 16-member organization was established in 1980. The member states are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Related Stories

Tinubu Urges Equitable Capital Access for Developing Countries

By Adedapo Adesanya President Bola Tinubu has called for equitable access to capital for developing countries, saying such will provide the much-needed resources for development. Speaking at the 19th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement at the weekend in Kampala, Uganda, the Nigerian leader, however, pointed out that the developing world is not looking for sympathy or begging, but fair and equal opportunity. Chaired by Ugandan President, Mr Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, this year’s summit was attended by many presidents and heads of government. The Non-Aligned Movement is the largest gathering of countries, second only to


ECOWAS Insists Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali Remain Members

By Adedapo Adesanya  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the bloc as it is yet to receive any direct formal notification about their intention to withdraw from the community. It said the Authority of Heads of State and Government, its highest decision-making organ, remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse. In a statement on Sunday, the commission said it has been “working assiduously with these countries for the restoration of constitutional order. Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the Community and


Russia Improving Beneficial Ties With Africa

By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh Most of African political leaders are now reacting to post-Soviet politics and emerging economic possibilities in Russia. With emerging multipolarism, some leaders are already adapting to the fast-changing situation and adjusting policies that would support their development goals and effectively work on their election pledges. Despite the internal development hurdles, the majority are shifting from the Western and European alliances, looking forward towards cooperating with countries in the Global South. Professor Vladimir Shubin, Institute for African Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences, has raised some serious issues in Russian-African relations that need careful consideration. In

More Stories

Governor Ahmed: Funding Infrastructure Through IGR

By Eyitayo Oyelowo Revenue generation is the path to modern development. For government at all levels to meet the demands of its citizenry in terms of basic infrastructure, sustainable revenue is key. For most state governments, these means effective collection and management of revenue. In the light of this, when the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed got re-elected into office in 2015, his first line of action was to reposition the revenue collection process through the change in people, process and technology having realized that the allocation coming to the state from the federal government had dwindled. This repositioning


DPR Seals NNPC, MRS Oil, 17 Other Petrol Stations

By Modupe Gbadeyanka A total of 19 petrol stations operating in Jos, Plateau State and Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, have been sealed by operatives of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). A statement issued by the petroleum agency disclosed that the affected filling stations were shut down for various offences including short-changing of customers through irregular fuel dispensing. A breakdown of the exercise carried out in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital last weekend, showed that nine petrol stations and an illegal trans-filling Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) station were sealed, while 10 stations in Jos, the Plateau State capital, were affected,


Wema Bank to Launch Digital Savings Product for Traders, Others

By Dipo Olowookere A mid-level financial institution in Nigeria, Wema Bank Plc, will unveil a digital savings product called Wema Bank Micro Savings at major markets in Ogun, Oyo and Cross River States on Friday, October 21, 2022. The launch of this product will wrap up a week-long activity to commemorate the 2022 Financial Inclusion Week (FIW) themed Inclusive Growth in Digital Era. The Head of the Retail Segment at Wema Bank, Mr Adekunle Alarapon, explained that, “The launch of Wema Bank Micro Savings product underscores the bank’s continued commitment to the empowerment of individuals and businesses by leveraging innovation.”


Naira Loses 25 Kobo at I&E Amid 1.1% Drop in Forex Turnover

By Adedapo Adesanya The Naira performed badly against the United States Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Thursday, January 6. The Nigerian Naira depreciated by 25 kobo or 0.06 per cent during the session as the exchange rate closed at N416.25/$1 versus N416.00/$1 of the previous session. This is the first time that the local currency depreciated this year after appreciating back-to-back at the opening two sessions of the 2022 trading year. This occurred as the forex turnover fell marginally at the session by 1.1 per cent or $1.3 million as


Lagos, Delta, Rivers Lead Competitiveness Index in Nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere Lagos, Delta and River States have emerged the most competitive states in Nigeria in terms of economy, human capital, infrastructure and institutions. The ranking was released on Wednesday by the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) and was witnessed by former Governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke. The competitiveness index ranked all the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja across four key areas: Human Capital, Infrastructure, Economy and Institutions and it was the first ever National Competitiveness Report and Sub-National Index in the country. Chief Executive of


Business Editors in Nigeria Launch New Association

By Dipo Olowookere A new association has been launched by past and present Business Editors across the country. The new body is called Association of Business Editors of Nigeria (ABEN) and its Chairman is the former Editor of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Omo Gabriel. Speaking at the inauguration of ABEN, Mr Gabriel said forming the body was very tough because of different factors including registration of the group with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Commenting on the economy, the ABEN chief said despite all efforts made by the different political dispensation to resuscitate it, the Nigerian economy has continued to defy


Int’l Women’s Day: FG Promises to Increase Inclusion in Digital Sector

By Adedapo Adesanya The federal government has reiterated its commitment to bring women into the digital sector, which has reduced $1 trillion from the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of low- and middle-income countries. The Minister of Women Affairs, Ms Pauline Tallen, made this disclosure ahead of an event in commemoration of the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD). The event, which will be marked on Wednesday, March 8, is themed DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. According to her, bringing women and other marginalised groups into technology has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality.


FBRA Drums Support for Preservation of Environment

By Modupe Gbadeyanka A call for an increased stakeholders’ collaboration towards restoring biodiversity and preserving the environment has been made by the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA). The group, while commemorating the World Environmental Day 2020, reiterated the crucial role of recycling in preserving the environment while urging consumers to imbibe a culture of proper waste disposal. The World Environmental Day is an annual event designed to engage people, communities and governments to raise global awareness and action for the protection of the environment. This year’s event themed Celebrate Biodiversity is expected to galvanize global efforts and initiatives that

Recent Stories

How MultiChoice Empowers Nigerian Youth Through Creative Investment

As global populations age, Africa remains a bastion of youthful promise, with around 70% of the continent’s population below the age of 30. This youthful demographic can be an asset – but only if it is developed, by empowering young people through training, and by giving them a stake in the growth of their countries’ economies. Helping to develop young people’s abilities and expanding the pool of skills is also in the interests of industry and big business. Over the years, the Federal government of Nigeria embarked on youth empowerment initiatives to harness the skills and energy of Nigerian youths


Eva Adelaja Girls’ At 60: Old Students Donate to Orphanage, Thrill Students

By Adedapo Adesanya It has been an eventful celebration at the ongoing 6oth Anniversary of Eva Adelaja Girls’ Secondary Grammar School, Bariga, Lagos. The event was planned to celebrate the institution established by the late educator, Mrs Evangeline Adebayo Adelaja, in 1964. Particular resplendent in this celebration are the alumni of the school, the Eva Adelaja Girls’ Secondary Grammar School Old Girls’ Association, which have been on the ground to ensure that the planned activities go smoothly. The event, which kicked off with the Praise Day and Community Hymn Singing held at Chapel of Christ the Light in Alausa, Ikeja,


FAAC Disburses N1.2trn to FG, States, Councils for February Allocation

By Aduragbemi Omiyale About N1.2 trillion, precisely N1.149 trillion, has been disbursed to the federal, state and local councils as their allocation for February 2024. The money was part of the revenue generated by the nation in January 2024. A total of N2.068 trillion was generated last month by Nigeria, but N1.149 trillion was shared, comprising distributable statutory revenue of N463.079 billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) of N391.787 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) of N15.922 billion, and Exchange Difference revenue of N279.028 billion. A communiqué issued after the end of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting held yesterday


Unlisted Securities Rise 0.33% After Recording Two Price Gainers

By Adedapo Adesanya The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange recorded a 0.33 per cent appreciation on Thursday, February 22. This increased the wealth of investors by N5.16 billion during the session, with the market capitalisation growing to N1.576 trillion from the previous day’s N1.571 trillion. Following the same trend was the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI), which went up by 3.8 points to wrap the session at 1,162.77 points compared with 1,158.97 points recorded at the previous session. There were two gainers against one loser at the session on Thursday led by bellwethers – Aradel Holdings Plc and FrieslandCampina Wamco


Naira Falls at NAFEX, Parallel Market as Govt Battles Speculators

By Adedapo Adesanya Despite the unconventional approaches to ease the free fall of the Naira, its value weakened against the United States Dollar in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) on Thursday, February 22 by 1.9 per cent or N28.73 to close at N1,571.31/$1 compared with the N1,542.58/$1 it was transacted in the midweek session. The domestic currency suffered the loss despite the supply of foreign exchange (FX) improving by 11.7 per cent or $20.11 million to $192.25 million from Wednesday’s $172.14 million. However, the local currency appreciated against the Pound Sterling in the official market yesterday by N142.83


Oil Prices Up as Houthis Intensify Attacks in Trading Sea Routes

By Adedapo Adesanya  Oil prices went up on Thursday as Iran-aligned Houthis stepped up attacks in the Red Sea near Yemen while the market faced a large build in crude inventories in the world’s largest producer, the United States. During the session, Brent crude futures increased by 66 cents to $83.69 per barrel and the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures surged by 76 cents to $78.67 a barrel. Worries came as the Houthis said they would escalate their attacks on ships in the Red Sea and other waters, adding they have introduced “submarine weapons” to reach their goals.


Customs Street Cracks by 0.12% as Traders Sell Off Wema Bank, Others

By Dipo Olowookere The bulls lost control of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited to the bears on Thursday amid sustained weak investor sentiment. Customs Street ended in the red zone by 0.12 per cent after it recorded 20 price advancers and 28 price laggards, implying a negative market breadth index. DAAR Communications was on top of the losers’ table yesterday after it let go of 10.00 per cent of its previous day’s closing price to trade at 72 Kobo. Wema Bank shed 9.93 per cent to sell at N7.80, PZ Cussons went down by 9.89 per cent to N24.60, Academy


FG to Resume Direct Cash Transfers to Poor Nigerians as Hunger Spreads

By Adedapo Adesanya Amid current realities, the federal government intends to restart direct cash transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians, after a scandal led to the suspension of the programme last month. The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, revealed this during the Ministry’s retreat held in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State. He said approximately three million people are recipients of the scheme but due to the escalating cost of living, the government anticipates that an additional 12 million households could qualify for these direct payments. The Finance Minister said, “The presidential panel on


Lagos Plans Daily Free Meal for Residents, Markets for Cheap Food Items

By Modupe Gbadeyanka About 1,500 residents of Lagos State will have access to one free meal per day to cushion the effect of the economic hardship in the country, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared. Mr Sanwo-Olu, while answering questions from journalists during a media chat on Thursday, said his administration would establish at least 42 Sunday Markets across the metropolis for cheap food items, though the commencement of this initiative is yet to be revealed. There has been a pocket of demonstrations across the country over the rising hunger in Nigeria as a result of high inflation and the devaluation


WINBAFRICA Plans Big for 10th Anniversary

By Modupe Gbadeyanka All is now set for the 10th anniversary of WINBAFRICA themed Bridging the Gap: Celebrating a Decade of Nation-building. The organisation is gathering stakeholders together on Monday, February 26, 2024, for the event at the Alliance Francaise in Ikoyi, Lagos. The group was formed in 2014 and has since then promoted girl-child education and empowered women and young girls in critical thinking and leadership skills in secondary schools across Africa. As part of activities lined up for this year’s celebration, WINBAFRICA organised an annual school debate competition and scholarship programme for 20 young girls across the continent.