Africa today is again the subject of controversy and mutual accusations of “neocolonialism” among the great powers. In conditions of a significant Chinese presence, large volumes of American investments, post-colonial influence of former western metropoles, Russia is entering the arena. A new round of discussion about Russian economic prospects in Africa came in 2019, after the organization of the first Russia – Africa Forum. This gave impetus to the conduct of new studies on Russian influence in Africa and forecasting of further developments. The article analyzes the Russian non-military presence in the markets of two countries of Central and East Africa – the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of the Congo. The author relies on cross-evidence from Russian and African experts, whom the author had the opportunity to meet during scientific trips to these countries. The “return” of Russia to Africa in some countries of sub-Saharan Africa is beyond doubt. However, the return strategy does not yet have clear forms and objectives. The economic imperatives dictated by the uncertainty and turbulence of the world economy today set Moscow to restore influence in some African countries, while the author finds it interesting that the beneficiaries and main participants in this return are not only major players in the Russian extractive industries, but also private enterprises of small and medium business. In the current crisis conditions, there is a set of recommendations for Russian business suggested in conclusion, possible measures of state support are indicated.
1. Abramova I. Africa in the Modern Model of the World Order: a Powerful Player or an Outsider? Kontury global'nykh transformatsii. Outlines of Global Transformations. 2018. No. 5. Pp. 6-21 (in Russian).
2. Alimov D. MBA guide in Russia and abroad. Ed. Gozman O., Zhavoronkova A., Rubalskaya A. Moscow: Begin Group, 2004. Pp. 47-48 (in Russian).
3. Kalika A. Russia’s "Great Return" to Africa? Russie.Nei.Visions. No. 114. Ifri, April 2019. Pp 9-29.
4. Korendyasov E. Military-technical cooperation between Russia and Africa. Aziya i Afrika segodnya. Asia and Africa Today. 2015. No. 9. Pp. 9-18 & No. 10. Pp. 8-16 (in Russian).
5. Kulkova O. What Russia can offer Africa. RIAC. 14.08.2019. (in Russian), accessed 10.04.2020.
6. Ronin V. Russian Congo 1870–1970. Memorial book in 2 vol. Moscow: Russkii put'. 2009 (in Russian).
7. Tokareva A. How foreigners studied in the USSR and in Russia. The history of the issue. Kommersant. No. 72. 24.05.2015. https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2715297 (in Russian), accessed 25.03.2020.
8. Calderon C., Kambou G., Djiofack C.Z., Kubota M., Vijdan C., Canales C. An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa’s Economic Future. Africa's Pulse, No. 21, Spring 2020. World Bank, Washington, DC. (accessed 25.03.2020).
9. Epagna E.P. Gilbert Ondongo visite la SOREMI, un fleuron de l’industrie minière au Congo. Ministère de l'économie, de l'industrie et du portefeuille publique. 23.02.2019. (accessed 21.03.2020).
10. Gwelo A., Madzivhandila T., Moalosi K., Sibanda S., Wambo Yamdjeu A. Achieving Food Security. Africa agricultural report 2016 «Progress towards Agricultural Transformation in Africa». Chapter 10. AGRA. (accessed 06.03.2020).
11. Jayaram K., Leke A., Ooko-Ombaka A., Sunny Y. Tackling COVID-19 in Africa. An unfolding health and economic crisis that demands bold action. McKinsey, april 2020.
12. Nsafou G. Congo: de la democratic a la democrature. Paris: L’Harmattan, 1996.
13. Payne J. Gunvor must pay $95 million for Congo oil corruption: Swiss prosecutors. Reuters. 17.10.2019. (accessed 18.03.2020).
14. Rakotoarisoa M., Iafrate M., Paschali M. Why has Africa become a net food importer? Explaining Africa agricultural and food trade deficits. FAO, 2011.