Regional Powers on the African Continent: Trends and Prospects

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-4-54-65
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 30.08.2023. Revised 16.10.2023. Accepted 22.01.2024.

Acknowledgments. This work was supported by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia within the framework of the collective research project IMI no. 2025-04-08 “Russian-African interaction in the perception of the African partners”.

Abstract. The article studies the elements of the twelve leading African states` mights in order to identify the regional power and find potential ones. The growing role of the African region in world politics is giving more weight to the regional powers in the international scene. The authors examined the power`s parameters in dynamics, thus allowed them to reveal not only the key leading states of the continent, but also to note the emerging powers of the African continent. Based on the size of the armed forces, the cost of maintenance and technological equipment, the leading positions in Africa are occupied by Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria. Although these indicators are not automatically translated into power projection, they are enough to create a restraining structural effect on other states on the continent. In terms of the combination of economic and demographic potential, the most noticeable groundwork has been formed in Egypt and Nigeria, since their economic growth is comparable to population growth. Other major countries in Africa are experiencing either slowing economic growth or demographic transition, raising questions about the potential of these countries. Finally, in terms of soft power and institutional representation, Egypt has a significant lead. Thus, only Egypt and Nigeria can be considered full-fledged regional powers in Africa. Although South Africa is often added to this list, military-political, economic-demographic and cultural-institutional trends on the African continent do not allow one to come to such a conclusion. The second echelon of powers in Africa potentially includes, in addition to South Africa, Algeria, Kenya and Ethiopia. Given these political dynamics, we can expect increased competition among the leading states on the continent.

Keywords: Africa, regional power, military power, demographic dividend, the economy of Africa, soft power, sub-regions


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For citation:
Loshkarev I., Protasov D. Regional Powers on the African Continent: Trends and Prospects. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 4, pp. 54-65. EDN: TUAAGR

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