The cultures of geopolitics in Africa: from colonization to equal partnership

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The cultures of geopolitics in Africa: from colonization to equal partnership

*Dr. Luc Zwaenepoel

Abstract: The essay will research different forms of geopolitics culture in Africa over many decades. The evolution of colonial geopolitics (occupation) towards the ideas of international equal partnership based on budget support and funding. The following items will be researched: Cultures of colonization, struggle for independence, international cooperation, Regional Economic Integration, and new forms of South-South cooperation.

Keywords: colonization/decolonization culture, cooperation/development culture, culture of equal partnership, culture in the struggle for independence, regional economic integration culture, negritude movement.

Introduction (3)

The essay will research different forms of geopolitics culture in Africa over many decades. The evolution of colonial geopolitics (occupation) towards the ideas of equal partnership (EU) based on budget support and development funding. The history and actual state of the cultures of geopolitics in Africa will be researched.

To discuss the geopolitical relevance of culture, to be used as a frame of this essay, is the analysis by Dr Nayef Al-Rodhan.

In his study, he found 5 substrates to explain the geopolitical relevance of culture. The substrates have connotations with the cultural dimensions of Hofstede:

Large Collective Identities as a distinct actor (collective)

Large collective identities as distinct actors in geopolitics are weighting in global politics. The emotionality of states and large collective identities can be seen as distinct actors in the area of globalization. Other collective actors are multinational organizations, transnational corporations, gender issues, and reactive actors such as the environment and resources. Geopolitical interference can be seen when the holders of “large collective identities” feel threatened as a consequence of conflict, stereotyping, disrespect, demonization, or alienation. In that case, the emotionality of states functions as a distinct actor in geopolitical interventions and shaping a new order. (e.g., Israel versus Hamas)

The Multi-Sum Security Principle (Risk aversion)

The multi-sum security principle accounts for cultural respect as a security concern. “The principle states that: “In a globalized world, security can no longer be thought of as a zero-sum game involving states alone. Global security, instead, has five dimensions that include human, environmental, national, transnational, and transcultural security. “Therefore, global security and the security of any state or culture need to be achieved through good governance at all levels that guarantee justice for all individuals, states, and cultures”. Risk aversion of the different actors is given by the sense of justice, the universal human rights in common shared values and respect of human rights during the war period. 

Transcultural Security and Synergy (long-term vision)

Transcultural security searches for the integrity of large collective identities and the absence of hostile clashes between members of different cultures. To reach this goal, citizens are threatened with human dignity, with respect and dignity as a fundamental. If no alignment can be found with other people, cultures or nations transcultural security cannot be sustainable. Coexistence and transcultural synergy are critical but demand time and history. The plurality of cultures has a great impact on global security and the future well-being of humankind.

Ocean Model of Civilization” (hierarchy/dominance)

The idea of global civilization was part of the colonization but largely mixed up with the self-interest and economic motives of the colonial collective actors. The hierarchy of human civilization was largely built on the achievements of other cultures whose golden years have passed (Old Europe). The clash of cultures, as in multiple and competing civilizations, is creating a multiple geo-political domain that contains cultures and subcultures. The making of one fluid human story of its civilization is prime but hard to realize.

Sustainable History

Forward-thinking and attuned to the conditions of a globalized, connected and interdependent world can contribute to a sustainable history of mankind. No sustainable prosperity or security can be attained at the expense or marginalization of others. Indeed, this is also based on common values of human dignity and justice, in today’s world, humanity will either triumph or fail as a whole. “Dignity is much more inclusive than freedom and means much more than just the absence of humiliation and includes nine governance-related needs, which are: reason, security, human rights, accountability, transparency, justice, opportunity, innovation, and inclusiveness. This is critical for transcultural relations, too often determined by undignified and antagonistic exchanges that are injurious to security and mutual coexistence.”

The past colonial times in Africa: geopolitical history (4,5,8,15)

The Large Collective Identities and distinct actors in the colonization (collective) and the partition of the African continent are strong examples of the culture of colonization.

What was called the Scramble of Africa (1833-1914) was the moment that control of the African continent was divided under the European countries.

The Scramble for Africa is the name given to how European countries brought nearly all of the African continent under their control as part of their separate empires. The Scramble for Africa began in the 1880s. By 1914, the only African countries not controlled by a European power were Liberia and Ethiopia.

It was the Berlin conference (1884) that made official the invasion, annexation, division, and colonization of most of Africa by seven Western European powers during an era known as “New Imperialism (between 1833 and 1914). The 10 percent of Africa that was under formal European control in 1870 increased to almost 90 percent by 1914.

The Berlin Conference regulated European colonization and trade in Africa during the last quarter of the 19th century; considerable political rivalries between the European empires provided the impetus for the Scramble. The later years of the 19th century saw a transition from “informal imperialism” – military influence and economic dominance – to direct rule.

The so-called decolonization and the granting of independence to most African countries was seen in the sixties. (see list of independence days of African states). However, the culture of the colonial system and the existence of the old imperial blocs of power influenced until today the politics and the economy of African nations. A good example is the francophone countries in West Africa, still depending on their economy and the cultural language of the links with France. (CFA, la Francophonie)

A good example of brute colonization is the Congo Free State and the Belgian King Leopold II (14,16)

From 1869 to 1874, Henry Morton Stanley was secretly sent by Leopold II to the Congo region, where he made treaties with several African chiefs along the Congo River and, by 1882, had sufficient territory to form the basis of the Congo Free State. The goal was to have a Belgian colony, to colonize and use resources (rubber and ivory) to make Belgium an industrial state.

Congo Free State; personal property of King Leopold II (16)

In the Congo Free State was such a terror regime on the colonized people installed, including mass killings and forced labor, that Belgium, under pressure from the Congo Reform Association, ended Leopold II’s rule and annexed it on 20 August 1908 as a colony of Belgium, known as the Belgian Congo.

From 1885 to 1908, many atrocities were perpetrated in the Congo Free State; in these images, Native Congo Free State laborers who failed to meet rubber collection quotas were punished by having their hands cut off.

The brutality of King Leopold II in his former colony of the Congo Free State was well documented; up to 8 million of the estimated 16 million native inhabitants died between 1885 and 1908. According to Roger Casement, an Irish diplomat of the time, this depopulation had four main causes: “indiscriminate war”, starvation, reduction of births and diseases.

This example of the colonial culture where, at the beginning of the colonization, the local population was murdered by main causes: “indiscriminate war”, starvation, reduction of births, and diseases. This falls under the substrata of dominance, hierarchy, injustice, and lack of human dignity.

Red rubber, ivory and gold

The book Red Rubber by E.D Morel gives a brief and updated narrative about the Congo tragedy and the personal, uncontrolled, and unfettered management of the independent Congo state by King Leopold. Red Rubber” was a name assigned to the brutal slave system of Africa during the late 1800s. The laborers in Congo were forced to work to maximize the rubber production for King Leopold for nothing. The enforcement included mass murder, killing, cutting off the right hand of laborers and mutilation.

A grand Civilization project with a stream of Christian missionaries

After the Congo Free State, the name of the colony changed to the Belgian Congo. Under International pressure and reactions of the Belgian establishment (the Roger Casement Report, a new approach was doctored: the civilization of the Congo by annexation and installation of a colonial administration. In parallel, the Christianization of the “Congolese heathens” was also an important target.

Catholic missionaries played an important role in the colonial scramble in Africa and the subsequent years. They served as educators and medical support for the state in many cases. The state relied on missionaries to staff schools, educate the population, and aid in the civilization of the Africans.

At any rate, it was the missionaries who provided most of the means to enable Africans to participate more effectively in colonial society by providing education and by opening teaching and preaching jobs in providing high-status employment opportunities. Without question, missionaries were an important factor in promoting economic change. They introduced and encouraged the use of foreign products (clothing, tea, etc.), which undermined the former self-sufficiency of the subsistence economy. This brought Africans more and more into a market economy.

On the other hand, the arrival of Christianity in Congo also contributed to the maintenance of the colonial system and the existence of cultural imperialism. The Bantou culture (Ubuntu)was seen as backward and Congolese intelligentsia were educated to become a kind of Belgians called “évolués), meaning Congolese who graduated to have a level of Belgian modern culture. This is the second impact of the culture of colonization, the undervaluation of local cultures, tribal arrangements, and familial traditions. It is placed under the substrata of geopolitics culture: “hierarchy” and the non-existence of a common history where human dignity and justice prevail.

Is Africa an important geopolitical player? (16,17,18)

Africa, by its size and population, is an important geopolitical player but not yet in the global international relations and the global sphere. The importance of Africa as of today is based on three aspects:

  1. The abundance of strategic resources, the demographic dividend of a young population and attractive growth perspectives

An important geopolitical player despite the continent’s bright prospect, intra-regional conflicts, poverty and all forms of corruption that stand as risk and hindrances

Africa’s population will reach 2.5 billion people by 2050 and will constitute what is expected to be a quarter of the world’s populace. The African continent boasts 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, and demand for rare earth metals alone is expected to reach 315,000 tons by 2030, more than double the volume in 2021.

From colonial occupation to independence: independence culture

At the end of the colonization area, a movement of independence fighters emerged in colonized Africa. Colonial powers had planned a longer transitional period towards independence but made a mistake by underestimating the will of the colonized intelligentsia to fight for freedom and independence.

The culture of searching or fighting for full independence from the colonizer had three important elements:

  • the violent reduction of native populations to cultural and social insignificance
  • about any significant destruction or degradation of the essential elements of the culture and traditions of the colonized peoples
  • to break the cultural resistance of the colonized peoples has been assimilation


The collective positive and negative actors in the fight from occupation to independence were the following groups:

  • An initial minority that, even if it wants the end of foreign domination, clings to the ruling colonial class and openly opposes this movement in defense of its social security.
  • A majority of vacillating or undecided elements.
  • A second minority whose members participate in the creation and leadership of the liberation movement and are its main source of life.

Cabal and the role of culture

Amilcar Cabral stresses in his essay the role of culture in the struggle for independence. (3)

“The fact that independence movements are generally marked from the very outset by a flurry of manifestations of things cultural has led to the observation that these movements are preceded by a cultural renaissance of the dominated people. The argument is even taken one step further, and it is said that culture is a method for collective mobilization, a weapon, that is, in the struggle for independence.

The cultural resistance of the people – the popular masses – in the colonies are fighting not only the foreign domination but also the impact of cultural imperialism of the colonizers.” These facts fall under the substrata: Large Collective Identities as a distinct actor (collective) and Transcultural Security and Synergy (long-term) (4)

Two historical cases of independence culture and its reaction: 

  • The killing of Lumumba by the CIA and Belgium (dominance) (7)

Patrice Émery Lumumba was a Congolese politician and independence leader who served as the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from June until September 1960, following the May 1960 election. The U.S. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and their counterparts in Britain and Belgium paid a group of Congolese military men (including Joseph Mobutu) to kill him.

 He was executed by a firing squad on January 17, 1961, after a long torture session. Before they killed him, they made me eat the paper on which my Independence Day speech was written. After his assassination, people all over the world protested the destruction of democracy in Congo.


  • Che Guevara importing the revolution in Congo (7)

A second case of bringing revolution to Congo was the failed liberation revolution by Che Guevara in Kongo (South Kivu). In line with other revolutions in Africa (Tanzania), Che Guevara came to Congo with a liberation army to make Congo free in the post-colonial time under Mobutu. Che Guevara and the Cuban forces were only in the Congo for nine months; the first couple of months were spent waiting for troops and training them upon arrival. In November of 1965, Guevara abandoned the revolutionary cause and retreated to Havana with what remained of his troops. He tried to start a guerilla revolution in Bolivia. In the autumn of 1966, Guevara went to Bolivia to create and lead a guerrilla group in the region of Santa Cruz. After some initial combat successes, Guevara and his guerrilla band found themselves constantly on the run from the Bolivian army. On October 8, 1967, the group was almost annihilated by a special detachment of the Bolivian army aided by CIA advisers. Guevara, who was wounded in the attack, was captured and shot.

From underdeveloped countries to nations on the way towards development and the equal partnership Cooperation culture

The theory of underdevelopment and the culture of cooperation toward development came after the granting of independence.

Once independence was granted and according to the underdevelopment perspective, which has close links to the dependency and world-systems perspectives, the economies of colonized countries were distorted to meet the needs of emerging capitalism in Western Europe.

One of the central features of Samir Amin’s analysis is the argument that the periphery is underdeveloped because of super-exploitation and that the resulting super-surplus is transferred to the center (the former colonizing power). “Development of underdevelopment” described that the economic processes in the periphery are the opposite of the development in the core. Poorer countries are impoverished to enable a few countries to get richer.”

In the sixties and seventies, international organizations and countries started the creation of development funds and were sending out development aid workers working in outside planned development projects in different fields and regions.

The UN agencies like UNDP (the U.N. Development Programme, the FAO, and UNICEF are the most known collective cultural actors in the post-independence phase. European countries worked on programs called “la cooperation au dévelopement “and had fixed target rates for the BNP to spend yearly on international cooperation.

This was, of course, the case of Africa, where former colonizers (France, UK) could keep more grip on further development and financing under strict rules.

Some international projects have been successful and contributed to the economy of Africa, like infrastructure and new techniques in agriculture. Other international projects had a sustainability problem and disappeared some years after the end of the project. Development in the African countries was managed following the cultural management principles of the West, where efficiency and effectiveness (results-based) were important for the home country.

Equal partnership culture (8,13)

After thirty years of development cooperation and with a young African elite with Western education and new political ideas, a new concept was introduced: equal partnership in the cooperation process. The following are several EU-AU Agreements that shaped the new partnership processes, that made the change in cooperation culture and the importance of Africa in the global economy. This was staying far from the culture of colonization and the cooperation culture.

EU Africa agreements (8,10)

The Africa-EU Partnership is a multi-actor partnership guided by the EU and African Union (AU) Member States along with several non-state and civil society organizations, youth bodies, economic and social actors, and the private sector. The renewed partnership is grounded in an ongoing dialogue with the EU’s African partners. At the 6th EU-AU Summit in Brussels in February 2022, the partners adopted a “Joint Vision for 2030”.

The EU’s partnership with Africa is a key priority for the Commission. As Europe’s closest neighbour, Africa not only shares a rich history with EU countries but also common values and interests. Through the Africa-EU partnership, there is an engagement in structured political and policy dialogues and define new cooperative relationship with Africa.

People-centred partnership

Non-state actors, such as civil society, local authorities, youth representatives and the private sector play an active role in the Africa-EU Partnership and its decision-making process. In preparation for the institutional meetings, various stakeholder groups meet regularly to bring their views and recommendations to the table. In the margins of the 6th EU-AU Summit, over 20,000 people from Europe, Africa and beyond participated in the first Africa-Europe Week and the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF). Hosted in a hybrid format in Brussels and virtually, the forum aimed to strengthen cross-continent people-to-people relations, by providing a space for youth, civil society (CSO), cultural actors and the private sector to discuss the aspects of the Africa-Europe partnerships that matter most to them.

The Cotonou Agreement (8,10)

The current EU relationship with ACP countries is governed by the ACP-EU partnership agreement (2000), also known as the Cotonou Agreement, which unites over 100 partner countries and some 1.5 billion people. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement ever signed between the EU and third countries.

The Cotonou Agreement was initially built on the following principles:

  • partners’ equality
  • global participation
  • structured dialogue

To adjust to new challenges, the agreement was revised in 2005 and 2010 to add focus on:

  • regional integration
  • security and political stability
  • the growing challenge of climate change
  • inclusiveness and sustainability
  • aid effectiveness

Post-Cotonou OACPS-EU relations

In April 2020, the ACP Group of States became an international organization: the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

Beyond this change, the upcoming expiry of the Cotonou Agreement was an opportunity to rejuvenate and strengthen the EU relationship with OACPS countries while considering the new realities and global challenges facing us. 

What is an association agreement in South Africa?

This type of agreement regulates the relationship between the members of a Close Corporation and is generally entered into at the beginning. stages of the relationship. Having an association agreement is not compulsory, but it may prevent disputes and conflicts which can arise between the partners.  

Intra-African geopolitics (8,10,11, 12) 

  • The Regional Economic Communities (RECs)

On the other side, African economic regions are organized in Regional Economic Communities (REC) to become equal partners with the EU and the international donor communities.

RECS (see list at annexes) are promoting Trade facilitation and regional integration. An example of regional cooperation in Africa is based on the Custom Unions in Europe (BENELUX), the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and the European Union.

In Africa on the geopolitical level, there African Union (AU) and the different RECS.

The RECS are mirroring the European models. New organizations are the BRICS and (AfCFTA).

The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are regional groupings of African states. The RECs have developed individually and have differing roles and structures. Generally, the purpose of the RECs is to facilitate regional economic integration between members of the individual regions and through the wider African Economic Community (AEC), which was established under the Abuja Treaty (1991). The 1980 Lagos Plan of Action for the Development of Africa and the Abuja Treaty proposed the creation of RECs as the basis for wider African integration, with a view to regional and eventual continental integration. The RECS is increasingly involved in coordinating AU Member States’ interests in wider areas such as peace and security, development and governance.

The RECs are closely integrated with the AU’s work and serve as its building blocks. The relationship between the AU and the RECs is mandated by the Abuja Treaty and the AU Constitutive Act and guided by the 2008 Protocol on Relations between the RECs and the AU; and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Area of Peace and Security between the AU, RECs and the Coordinating Mechanisms of the Regional Standby Brigades of Eastern and Northern Africa.

The AU recognizes eight RECs, the:

  • Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)
  • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
  • Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN–SAD)
  • East African Community (EAC)
  • Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
  • Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
  • Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC).


  • Intra-African geopolitics (8,11)

New organizations are formed: BRICS and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

BRICS is an intergovernmental organization comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. It was formed in 2010 by the addition of South Africa to its predecessor BRIC. The BRICS nations encompass about 27% of the world’s land surface and 42% of the global population.

BRICS refers to certain emerging market countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, and more—that seek to establish deeper ties between member nations and cooperate on economic expansion, including trade. The countries act as a counterbalance to traditional Western influence.

What countries are being invited to BRICS? (8,11)

During the fifteenth summit was the agreement to admit six new member countries: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, who will officially join the group in January 2024.

The challenge ahead will not be who joins the BRICS as a partner country but who holds the key to decisions on policy positions. The consensus-driven decision-making process of the BRICS will not make policymaking easier, but attempting to democratize is worth a serious effort. The start of the BRICS is an important geopolitical moment as it gives weight to more South-South cooperation from different continents. In the geopolitical culture, it embodies the first substrata of new collective actors in world geopolitics.


           . The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a free trade area encompassing most of Africa.

AfCFTA is the latest organization for geopolitics in Africa, mainly based on the globalization of Free Trade Agreements already worked out by RECs. It is an example of the substrata Hierarchy in the domain of further regional economic integration and trade facilitation.

According to the World Bank, The AfCFTA agreement aims to provide broader and deeper economic integration across the continent as well as attract investment, boost trade, provide better jobs, reduce poverty and increase shared prosperity in Africa.

The AfCFTA aims, for instance, to promote trade liberalization and market-oriented reforms within Africa; boost economic growth; and increase the size, diversity, and integration of African economies and markets.

What are the disadvantages of AfCFTA?(8,11)

Fears of significant tariff revenue losses and an uneven distribution of costs and benefits are among the main obstacles to the continent’s integration.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating. The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion. It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty but achieving its full potential will depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures.

Difficulties ahead

Creating a Regional identity is difficult because of the cultural, organizational differences in political, economic and tribal systems.

What is needed to achieve these objectives? Firstly, there must be the political will to adhere to regional integration objectives and to give them priority over domestic considerations. Secondly, a resolute effort must be made to achieve greater institutional and economic policy convergence. Strong, efficient regional institutions are required. Such institutions should be authorized to develop appropriate policies independent of national interests without, however, losing sight of each member’s particular situation.

Lessons from Regional Integration Initiatives in French-speaking Africa (13,17,18)

Almost all the countries represented here in this great assembly of French-speaking countries are associated with some form of regional initiative. However, the CFA franc (1,2) zone countries, in particular, have been able to transform their economic and monetary cooperation effort into a powerful driving force for economic policy coordination and integration. These countries are currently putting in place the structures required to achieve their ultimate objective, which is the creation of a genuine single market.

It is true that the single currency (the CFA franc) has been and continues to be the cornerstone of this integration. Long experience with a monetary policy conducted by a strong institution that must preserve its independence vis-à-vis national governments has accustomed these countries to yielding some of their economic policy matters to a regional organization.

Why do they speak about decolonization sixty years later? (de-colonization culture)  

Decolonization is the process of freeing a state institution, the sphere of activity, etc., from the cultural or social effects of colonization and the culture of the former colonial power. When recent talks about full decolonization, it is said that the decolonization of the museum’s galleries was important and long overdue. More stolen artifacts and cultural and ethnic objects are requested to be returned to the original country. Some countries are already in the process of an orderly return of museum pieces. e.g. Benin-France

But is it the only fact of decolonization and to finalize the process after 60-70 years of independence from their European rulers?

Between 1945 and 1960, three dozen new states in Asia and Africa achieved autonomy or outright independence from their European colonial rulers. There was no unified process of decolonization. In some areas, it was peaceful and orderly. In many others, independence was achieved only after a protracted revolution.

Colonization may be used as a method of absorbing and assimilating foreign people into the culture of the imperial country. One instrument to this end was linguistic imperialism, or the use of non-indigenous colonial languages to the exclusion of any indigenous languages from administrative (and often, any public) use. This was the case of the use of English in former British colonies and is still visible in the Commonwealth, where some former colonies still have King Charles III as their monarch and head of state.

The same can be seen in the French-speaking countries that not only have a monetary system linked to the French treasury but also have grouped former colonies into la Francophonie, promoting the French culture and language.


La Négritude movement (9,14,19)

In the early Thirties, a cultural movement started in the African diaspora called the promotion of black consciousness called “la négritude”. “Négritude” is a framework of critique and literary theory, developed mainly by francophone intellectuals, writers, and politicians of the African diaspora with names as Césaire, Leopold Senghor and Damas. The Négritude intellectuals disavowed colonialism, racism and Eurocentrism. They promoted African culture within a framework of persistent Franco-African ties.

It can be seen as a cultural reaction against the remainder of cultural imperialism that links African intelligentsia to the culture and the language of the former colonizer.


Transcultural Security and Synergy (long-term vision)


Lately, a great number of coup d’états were seen in the former colonies of France. Coup players are young military that like to loosen links with France, especially on the military defense side and the monetary arrangements. Countries like Gabon, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali do have a population that no longer wants French influence and urge for a change of government. Geopolitical, it is a problem for France having many troops in the area against the fundamental Islamists in the Nord but also relying heavily on raw resources like uranium, copper, and cacao.


Conclusions: different types of geopolitics culture

In this essay, geopolitics in Africa was analyzed by using the 5 substrata of the culture of geopolitics and the historical evolution of the role of the African continents in geopolitics.

Africa was geopolitical important for the European Empires and the repartition of the continent was called the Scramble of Africa and was signed in the Conference of Berlin. The culture of colonization was defined as the invasion, annexation, division, and colonization of most of Africa. The cultural substrata were the common action of large collectivities being the powers in Europe.

The culture of decolonization originated in the cultural imperialism in the colonies and in the fight for freedom and independence. This was made clear in the essay by Amilcar Cabral, stressing the role of culture in the struggle for independence.

After the colonization, the international community focused on the processes of development of the underdeveloped countries in Africa. The culture of Aid and international cooperation had quite some elements of continuously serving the interest of the donors.

The culture of equal partnership was the next phase in the geopolitical role of the African continent. It was promoted by the European Union and laid out in several international arrangements and funding with the African Union and the Member states.

The culture of Regional integration and trade facilitation through regional economic communities made Africa an important player in international relations. New regional organizations like The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will win in importance. More South-South cooperation is seen in the establishment of the BRICS with member states of different continents except Europe but with Russia and China.

The latter shows the shift in the culture of cooperation between like-minded countries in strengthening their economies and international relations.

Some geopolitical new elements were not mentioned, like the culture of the exportation of war and weapons to create permanent conflict. (Wagner Group, Al Shabab, North Kivu)

Lately, the influence in geopolitics has been seen by the dominance of satellites in influencing the Ukraine-Russian war (Elon Musk) (6). He curtailed his Starlink satellite service to prevent Ukraine from using it for a sea-drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.

The collective actors that have ICT tools and the creation of disinformation channels are new factors in the culture of geopolitics


Acquisition of sovereignty Country Date of acquisition of sovereignty Acquisition of sovereignty. See: data


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(*)Dr. Luc V. Zwaenepoel is a highly qualified manager, strategic planner, senior Institutional Development expert and results management specialist with a breadth of international experience, acquired in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and South East Asia. He is holder of a PhD in Economic Management from the California University School of Management, and a Drs in Development Economics from the KU Leuven.

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