The Sahel region has become the epicenter of terrorism, accounting for more deaths from terrorism in 2022 than South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) combined, according to The 2023 Global Terrorism Index. African pundits agree that Africa is becoming attractive to Russia and other global powers. For example, Russia has doubled its focus on Africa’s Sahel region and is capitalizing on the Western policy missteps to tightly grip the region.
Africa should guard against being an appendage that replaces old chains with new ones. The continent must tread cautiously as it becomes the playground of external actors and demand that the rest of the world walks with it as true friends and partners.
The current volatile situation in the Sahel calls for a coolheaded look at the fundamentals of the existing footprints and forays of global actors across the continent, to better assess how to engage them and where they will leave Africa in the long run. The continent must invest in productivity as opposed to destruction and loss of life.