Wed | May 31, 2023

Norris McDonald | Africa, Russia, China, and the striving for a new multipolar world

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2023 | 1:00 AM
Norris McDonald
Norris McDonald
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the 2nd Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference in Moscow, Russia on Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the 2nd Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference in Moscow, Russia on Monday.

China is responsible for only 12 per cent of the foreign debt owed by 49 African nations and yet American and other Western political leaders cowardly run away from a poverty-debt crisis they created.

World Bank data reveals that the International Monetary Fund and other such big institutions are responsible for roughly 39 per cent of the roughly US$696 billion owed by the African countries.

Of this amount, another 35 per cent is owed to Western privately owned banks and other private banks.

Overall, African countries are in a poverty-development crisis with no help from the Western nations. And yet all their efforts are focused on global militarism, while bad-mouthing Russia and China – the two main countries who are trying to help the African nations to modernise.

If the African nations were to listen to the West, they would reject all financial help from China.

It is the same trick regarding Russia. If the African nations are to listen to Western advice, they would make Russia, like China, their enemies.

What a diabolical scheme!

Fast moving political events around the world is clearly showing that these diabolical schemes are not working.

On the one hand, we have the impending Russia military defeat of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bloc in the Ukrainian proxy war.

China, too, on the other hand, is more and more exerting influence as a world power. The recent diplomatic coup of bringing Saudi Arabia and Iran together after a long, bitter feud is one clear example. The latter two countries have announced plans to join an enlarged BRICS and pursue joint economic development.

BRICS is an economic powerhouse that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. And there are expectations that it will be enlarged to include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Algeria, Qatar, Argentina, Afghanistan, Egypt, Indonesia and perhaps Mexico and several other nations.


In terms of economic resources, political clout, and money power, an enlarged BRICS may ultimately bring together nations that control over two-thirds of the global wealth.

Is this why there is a sense of headless chicken, schizophrenic desperation among the Western political leaders?

I think so.

The international capitalist system is in crisis and America political and militaristic actions appear to be making things worse.

According to the online financial magazine,, in its March 13, 2023 edition, there are 20 major banks that are “sitting on potential huge security losses”.

Silicon Valley Bank is the 20th largest bank in America. Its sudden failure along with that of Signature Bank and Switzerland’s Credit Suisse has exposed the fragility of the neo-capitalist market economies – so-called ‘neoliberalism’.

These banks’ balance sheet revealed the extent of their shaky finances from as far back as December 2022, one report says.

And yet, the priority of President ‘Working Man’ Joe Biden was to be standing up to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and, of course, the bloc of nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America that are breaking out of, or want to break out of, the American orbit.

So, America’s national political leaders waste their time on global bullyism instead of national governance at a time when people have lost money and the whole international Ponzi scheme called capitalism is about to collapse!

America has a US$32 trillion national debt and yet President ‘Working Man’ Joe Biden is planning to spend US$1 trillion on the US military budget. This would reportedly be the largest ever proposed by an American president.

Where is this money to come from? Borrow from China, of course, who they are planning to start their next war with!

Amazingly ridiculous, isn’t it! What do you think!

All wars have political consequences. And this Russia-Ukraine proxy war, given the military defeat of NATO, may well help to usher in a more democratic, multipolar world order. In this context, the strivings by nations and peoples for mutual respect, peace, friendship and international cooperation may be possible.


Against this background, we are seeing a greater collaboration between Russia and China, acting in tandem to change the political norms of the present unjust world order.

A recent conference, ‘Russia Africa in a Multipolar World’, was held in Russia and attended by 40 African countries. This is clearly aimed to work to reshape the unjust world, manipulated and dominated by a few American-led Western countries.

Russia’s approach, like China, is to offer meaningful development that can help the African countries to modernise their economies. Assistance in electrical power generation, through ROSATOM, is being offered to build power plants.

The ANGOSAT, satellite and television, communication broadcasting systems, to aid in African modernisation and technological development, are being developed through joint Russia-African cooperation.

Furthermore, Russia is helping with the education and training of specialists even as they promote trade, economic development, scientific, educational, and technological cooperation.

Military assistance was deemed important to strengthen the African nations’ fight for independence. Mali, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Angola, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, among others, have received modern military equipment and training from Russia.

The key question is: who are the friends and potential enemies of Africa?

This is a crucial issue raised by the Russia-Ukraine war and all African nations have refused to break ties with Russia or support the diabolical military schemes of NATO.


“Russia has been a good friend of Africa,” DRC’s Defense Minister, Gilbert Kabanda Kurhenga, recently said, who have “always refrained from blackmailing us, blaming us or imposing subjective sanctions.”

South Africa, as the chair of BRICS, despite political turmoil at home, has maintained a progressive foreign policy.

Reuters recently addressed this dichotomy in which they outlined South Africa’s foreign policy being based on championing “a world view, that seeks to undo perceived US-hegemony” with the aim of creating “a ‘multipolar world’ in which geopolitical power is more diffused.”

These are critical issues all nations and peoples must address. Who really are our friends and enemies?

This is the exact purpose of the recent Russian-African conference. And what has become increasingly clear, much to the ‘One Don imperialist’ anger, is that Africa is exerting its own independent political pathway.

The African nations have refused to allow the once dominant Western nations to tell them who they ought to choose to be their friends or enemies. And this must steadfastly remain a key principle of what political independence truly means.

That is just the ‘bitta’ truth!

Norris McDonald is an economic journalist, political analyst, and respiratory therapist. Email feedback to and