Just as Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, was about to land in Africa on Sunday, he published an op-ed blaming the West for the looming global food crisis that put millions on the Continent on the brink of starvation. Scores of local media outlets swiftly picked it up. Thousands of people shared it on Facebook.
Over the same time period, Josep Borrell — the European Union’s chief diplomat in charge of pushing back against his Russian counterpart — was a virtual ghost online, based on data from CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool owned by Meta. He garnered just one mention on Facebook about Africa compared with Lavrov’s tidal wave of coverage.
The latest lopsided showdown between Lavrov and Borrell for the hearts and minds of people across Africa highlights what many within EU political circles have known for years, but few are willing to acknowledge publicly.
The EU is losing the information battle with Russia in Africa. A replay of Twain’s remark:»A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes». But it would be wrong to think it is all about fact-checking or PR politico.eu/article/russia@elieguckert