Africa’s Sovereignty in the Context of the Multipolarizing Global Order: А Pre-Exploratory Discourse on the Sahel


Okoli A.C.


A new wave of geopolitical transformation is sweeping across the world, and Africa is not exempt from its dynamics. The evolving global geopolitical order is characterized by the realignments and counter-alignments of ties and interests at the multilateral and minilateral levels, with far-reaching consequences for nations. The study analyzes African sovereignty in the context of the geopolitical dynamics of the continent. Using the Sahel as a case study and secondary sources, the author identifies and substantiates the implications of the new geopolitical situation on the continent in terms of state sovereignty. Using a broad conceptual framework, the author views African sovereignty as the ability of the continent’s states to control their political, economic, military, and cultural destinies in the transition to multipolarity. Emphasizing the growing influence of China and Russia, as opposed to the countervailing influence of the United States, the author argues that the geopolitical struggle of the great powers in Africa is primarily driven by their geostrategic interests. Under the current balance of power and conditions, the countries of the continent can win or lose depending on how strategically active they are in terms of functional diplomatic relations with extra-regional geopolitical leaders.

The article argues that such engagement should be pragmatic enough to advance the interests of Africa and all stakeholders on the basis of mutual respect and functional interdependence. Otherwise, Africa’s agency and self-determination are doomed to be objectified again, similar to the pre-colonial “scramble” for Africa.


Africa, geopolitics, multipolarity, Sahel, sovereignty, super-powers, rivalry




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For citation:

Okoli, A.C. (2024). Africa’s Sovereignty in the Сontext of the Multipolarizing Global Order: A Pre-Exploratory Discourse on the Sahel. Journal of the Institute for African Studies. № 2. Pp. 118–133.

Для цитирования:

Околи А.Ч. Суверенитет Африки в контексте перехода к многополярному миропорядку (на примере дискурса вокруг Сахеля). Ученые записки Института Африки РАН. 2024. № 2. С. 118–133.