Anyone who has observed the attitude of parts of Africa to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine in recent weeks has at times been reminded of the movement of the non-aligned states from the Cold War era. For example, with the UN resolution that condemned the invasion of Ukraine in early March.

With Eritrea, only one country on the continent voted against it, but almost half of all 54 African countries abstained or did not vote – despite the blatant violations of international law by the Kremlin, and mostly against the principles of their own constitutions. Some memories of Soviet support during the era of anti-colonial liberation movements still seem to count.

At the time, Senegal and South Africa were also abstained, along with Niger the two destinations of Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) first trip to Africa as Chancellor. Barely six months after taking office, he is specifically visiting some of the continent’s most strategically important politicians. The list of problems is long – and their consequences reach as far as Europe.