Political analysts have likened recent Russia’s charm offensive in Africa to the cold war era where there was a bipolar world where two superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union, expanded their spheres of influence in different parts of the world.
Russia’s approach to gaining influence in Africa is more notable with the recent high-profile trips by Russia’s Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to Uganda, Egypt, and Congo Brazzaville among other African countries.
Many reports show that such a mission demonstrates Russia’s ambition to prove that it is not internationally isolated and that it has allies around the globe with whom it can conduct business as usual.
Speaking to KFM, Godber Tumushabe, an associate director at the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies says much as all the foreign countries coming to Uganda have clearly defined interests, Uganda has no common foreign policy.
Tumushabe thus says Lavrov’s visit plays to the advantage of only president Museveni and of little impact on ordinary citizens faced with the rising cost of living.
“You are seeing Museveni playing the power game between these different countries and he has done that since 2005 when he worked to amend the constitution. He has tried to play the East versus the West play hide and seek game to make sure he keeps these world powers in check so that they do not challenge his actions at the national level. Internationally, he plays the right game, locally he is more interested in ensuring that these countries do not interfere with whatever he does,” said Godber.