Why the Sudden Rush Into Africa? It’s the Oil

Oil-rich African nations could benefit from the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

An April 4, 2009, view of oil platform operated by the French company Total at Amenem, 22 miles from Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

In essence, Africa is becoming refrontiered, the next—but already charted—neocolonial play with subtle shades of humanitarianism and economic growth to make it look good. Make no mistake about it: There are real geopolitical intentions at work. Hunting down warlords and preventing Rwanda genocide redux is, of course, needed foreign policy common sense. But these are belt-tightening times for governments and their militaries (including ours). No one’s investing in Africa just to get good PR and a U.N. shout-out.

Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist and frequent contributor to The Root. He is also Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune and chief political correspondent for Uptown magazine. Follow him on Twitter.