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Russia to open RT office in South Africa. It will be the first in Africa and will operate from Johannesburg. The initiative confirms Moscow’s interest in extending its influence on the continent
Russia will open an RT office in South Africa, one of its main media channels used to spread propaganda, so much so that it has been banned by the EU, UK and Canada. The Deutsche Welle reported it. The headquarters will be the first in Africa and is expected to operate from Johannesburg, the nation’s economic capital. The arrival of RT is a clear signal that Moscow intends to extend its influence in Africa and that it has chosen the “weapon” of media manipulation to achieve its goal. In fact, up to now Russia has essentially used the military tool (the contractors of the Wagner group and the cooperation agreements on defense), associated with propaganda campaigns at the local level, to penetrate some states of the quadrant. It is no coincidence that several nations on the continent sided with Moscow or remained neutral in relation to the aggression of Ukraine. However, this is probably no longer enough.
Russia exploits a well-established model in a permeable continent and using a “friendly” country as a base
According to a well-established model, Russia needs a sort of headquarters that coordinates all the media campaigns at a local level in Africa and that provides them with precise guidelines on individual target audiences and on the issues to be used as leverage. Exploiting, moreover, the great permeability of the continent to actions of media influence, unlike others. Hence the choice to “enter” with RT in South Africa, a state in great economic and social difficulties, considered a “friend” by Moscow, which therefore will not put up any particular resistance. Indeed, given the bilateral relations, it could be a driving force to improve the grip on some nations “in the balance” thanks to its permanence in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which includes 16 member states.