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Ukraine Russia Crisis - Tracking Pan African opinions about the conflict

Updated: Sep 14

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took the world by surprise and created a war at the heart of Europe, something not seen since the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s. The conflict has resulted in a humanitarian crisis and the threat of an escalation of the conflict. The West has responded by imposing sanctions on Russia and supporting Ukraine with military and financial assistance. Africa is also impacted by the crisis. Ukraine and Russia have economic and military ties with the continent and the west has been pushing African leaders to pick sides. Kasi Insight is tracking how views of the ongoing conflict among Africans are shifting in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

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Most Africans feel they are knowledgeable about the Russia/Ukraine conflict. In fact, a quarter of respondents believe they are knowledgeable to very knowledgeable about the conflict. While most Africans think they are informed about the Ukraine conflict, Egyptians are more cautious in making this case. Moreover, 4 in 5 Africans understand the reasons behind the invasion of Ukraine. An overwhelming number of respondents in South Africa and Egypt believe they know the reasons compared to the respondents in other countries.

Getting information on the conflict

Surprisingly, Africans are now relying on a variety of sources of information to shape their views on the conflict. Social media is now the dominant source of information across countries, it’s interesting that respondents in South Africa and Egypt are relying on traditional/local media more while respondents in Nigeria, Kenya, and Ivory Coast rely on foreign media including 3 in 10 in Ivory Coast turning to Russian media.

The impact and global response to the conflict

Most Africans are concerned about the impact of the conflict including the threat of world war 3. They believe the sanctions are warranted and the West should do more to stop the conflict. When it comes to voting on the sanctions, they generally vote for but not at all costs. Support for the vote is weaker in South Africa and Egypt and stronger in Kenya or Nigeria. Despite the conflict, Africans are seeing Russia as an ally especially Egyptians and South Africans even though their level of trust in Russia is not high. They are aware of the military collaboration between Russia and their governments but also the existence of Wagner private security group.

Africans' response to the crisis

Respondents have noted the unfair treatment of Africans at the borders, but most Africans are satisfied with the response by their leaders to evacuate their citizens from Ukraine. Despite this, 3 in 5 respondents have stated that they are willing to help Ukrainians in some way, financially but also by raising awareness and even praying for Ukraine. Asked which country they are inclined to support; Africans have a balanced view. Support for Ukraine is high in Kenya & Nigeria. Respondents in Ivory Coast are split between Ukraine and Russia.

Download the full report below

Kasi Insight Ukraine Russia Opinions_03182022
Download PDF • 2.76MB

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