After the World War II, African nations embarked on a process of decolonization and the right to self-determination was recognised by the UN Charter of 1945. As the Cold War took hold and political and military tension rose between the Western and Eastern Blocs, African states were pressured to align with one of the superpowers with the promise of financial, military and diplomatic aid. Several proxy wars played out on the continent, from the Congo in the 1960s to the Horn of Africa in the 1970s and southern Africa from the 1970s to 1990s.
Across Africa, the struggle between the forces of capitalism and communism sparked coups, revolutions and political divisions, resulting in a huge impact on Africa’s post-independence landscape. In 1960 Moscow rightly judged anti-colonial fervour to be a good fit with Marxism and Soviet embassies were set up in many African countries. But was there a Soviet strategy for taking over Africa? To what extent was the USSR aware of political structures in Africa and the needs of those countries which it supported? What were the impacts of the Cold War on African national identities?
Join panel of experts as they discuss power, liberation and the geopolitics of the Soviet Union in Africa.
Professor Miles Larmer, University of Oxford;
Dr Christabelle Peters, University of Warwick.
Chair: Richard Dowden, Royal African Society.