Wagner model will remain in Africa after Prigozhin’s death

Despite the reported death of the Russian mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, Moscow has every interest in continuing his Wagner paramilitary group’s activities in Africa, experts told AFP on Thursday.

Russia has been outsourcing activities in Africa to Wagner since 2014.

On the security front, Wagner fighters have been deployed alongside the national armies of Libya, the Central African Republic and Mali.

In terms of politics, the group has conducted disinformation and destabilisation campaigns.

On the commercial front, it exploits mineral resources in several African states.

Analysts say the Kremlin has no interest in ending these activities.

One of Prigozhin’s last appearances on camera was footage broadcast Monday of him in camouflage fatigues and an assault rifle saying he was in Africa and working for Russia’s future.

It was his first filmed appearance since he led his brief revolt against the Kremlin in June.

Even before reports of his death, analysts were considering the possible implications of the mutiny.

– A ‘delicate’ succession –

With or without Wagner, “Russia wants to keep its business and security interests in Africa,” Rama Yade, Africa director of the US think tank Atlantic Council, told AFP. “It is a primary goal.”

The Kremlin has other channels of influence on the African continent, which lies at the centre of a bitter strategic battle between world powers.

These range from embassies to private investors and Russian-owned companies, from television channels to Orthodox churches.

These have helped propel Wagner’s successes in Africa, said Lou Osborn, a Wagner expert and co-author of a forthcoming book on the mercenary group.

“Wagner is the vehicle of Russian neocolonialism and there is no reason for it to stop,” said Joseph Bendounga, an opposition politician in the Central African Republic.

But wresting control of Prigozhin’s complex organisation will not be an easy task.

“The Kremlin has no intention of surrendering Prigozhin’s positions in Africa,” said Peter Rough, analyst at the Hudson Institute.

“But the transfer of those operations from Prigozhin to a successor will be a delicate matter.”

– Difficult to replace –

The Soufan Center, a think tank based in New York, has pointed out that “as Russian President Vladimir Putin himself admitted recently, not even the Kremlin truly understands the complex system Yevgeny Prigozhin operated”.

John Lechner, an independent researcher who is writing book on the mercenary army, made a similar point.

“Replacing Wagner personnel in Africa would require finding new personnel who have the networks and experience that keep operations going,” he said. “This is unlikely.”

In the Central African Republic, for example, Wagner has grown steadily in influence since its arrival in 2017, going so far as to organise a referendum in July on rewriting the country’s constitution.

“It may well be that some of the key figures representing (Wagner)… will remain in their posts, not least because they have the network and institutional knowledge that keeps operations in CAR going,” said Lechner.

But Prigozhin’s reported death leaves a key post vacant — and those shoes are not easy to fill, analysts said.

“There will surely be a lot of personalities who will try to express their willingness to take care of these difficult activities, provided they are appropriately financed,” said Russian investigative journalist Denis Korotkov.

“But they will surely be inferior to Prigozhin,” he added.

– Wagner ‘the only option’ –

The stakes are high for some of Wagner’s partners.

Critics of the force’s presence in Africa, such as France and the United States, accuse it of functioning as a kind of life insurance for regimes such as the military rulers in Mali.

“Wagner is a product of the state’s lack of capacity and interest to project official military force in Africa,” said Lechner.

That issue still exists, and there are no other private armies who can assume that role, he added.

There is no alternative for African governments who do not want to work with the West, said Lechner. “Wagner is still the only option.”

But Fidele Gouandjika, special advisor to Central African President Faustin Archange Touadera, was unruffled by the recent dramatic developments.

“It will change nothing on the ground,” he said.

“We have a defence agreement with the Russian Federation and it’s in the framework of that agreement that the Russian Federation sub-contracted with the paramilitaries of Wagner.”



AM Live

AM Live is NTV's morning current affairs show that sets the agenda for the day with insightful panels every weekday.


Business Redefined

Business Redefined is Kenya’s premier thought leadership platform for unpacking matters regarding economic and finance policy as well demystifying complex developments in the region’s capital markets.


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Full Episodes

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Gumzo La Sato

Gumzo La Sato is a live social issues show that aims to create awareness about issues affecting the larger society. The discussions range from Parenting, Marital bliss and struggles, Oppression, violence, and all matters of the Heart.

Health Diary

Health Diary is a weekly show that highlights different types of diseases/conditions and seeks ways to prevent, treat/manage them. The show debunks this through real life stories and also feature specialists in different fields, to offer medical advice on the same.

Letter To My Younger Self

Letter To My Younger Self is a podcast where guests get to write a letter to their younger self, from which Maxine formulates questions to ask them during the hour-long show.

Mazao Talks

Mazao looks at agriculture and agribusiness

Nation Reports

Nation Reports is a weekly podcast offers an opportunity for listeners to interact with various reporters and journey with them as they unravel the biggest most emotive stories.

One Health Lens Podcast

Discussing health matters and human stories from Kenya and across Africa. We talk big picture from people to policy, ecosystems, and everything in between. Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/onehealthlens

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost peeks through the story of Louis Otieno, the times, and everything in between.



Speaking of GEN Z

Speaking of Gen Z brings you entertaining but meaningful conversations about a generation that is trying to navigate through adulthood. Join hosts Michelle, Jackie and Esther as they unravel all things Gen Z.

Sport On

Sport-On is a 30-minute sports magazine show on NTV and 3 hours on NATION FM. The show seeks to give the sports “fanatics” and “funatics” comprehensive and in-depth coverage of sports both locally and internationally.


The extent of technological growth is beyond mere acknowledgment; it has seamlessly integrated into our daily existence. A few years ago, the notion of paying electricity bills through mobile money or recharging with 'tokens' in Kenya seemed inconceivable. Online product sales were considered distant, and artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping various facets of our lives. Amidst these technological leaps, those with a solid understanding of tech can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and build a sustainable livelihood. Tech over Show aims to be the platform facilitating discussions among thought leaders, innovators, tech companies, and the government, addressing challenges and opportunities in Kenya's thriving tech industry.


Thamani is a business show which is dedicated to emerging issues regarding micro, small and medium size businesses.

The Politalk podcast

This is The Politalk podcast. Here we look into the ins and outs of everything Kenyan politics. We pull no punches and have no reason to sugarcoat anything that matters to Kenyans.

The Trend

A two-hour-long live show that airs on Fridays. The show focuses on what is current in the entertainment industry, controversial and popular across all media platforms targeting those aged between 25 and 35 years.

The trend podcast

The trend podcast highlights and captures the best of banter from #TTTT segment that airs every Friday on NTV. It's the TTTT EXTRA

The Wicked Edition

The Wicked Edition with Dr. King’ori seeks to address serious issues through humour and relatable wit. It is a two-part half hour show filmed in front of a live audience


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula


Twende is a travel show that highlights beautiful, unique, diverse locations, people, and cultures. The show offers fresh perspectives on familiar locations and memorable experiences in new ones.


This Saturday evening lifestyle show lets viewers share their stories and life experiences as openly & honestly for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

VIP Access

VIP ACCESS is Anyiko Owoko’s YouTube and podcast show on Music and Culture dedicated to promoting Africa’s most promising talent and creatives. This podcast grants you VIP access into timeless interviews while providing a platform for rising as well as established artists across the continent. Since launching in 2018, Anyiko has interviewed over 70 African music stars.


This weekly news show aims to have all sides of debate but not be constrained by it, listen to main voices in the contest but not allow them to hold the viewers hostage, entertain debate but allow push back with all due respect.

When death do us part

In this podcast, three widowers openly speak about the process of grief, how they found themselves exposed to the emotional turmoil of losing their wives, and how society still does not know how to deal with them.

Your World

Your World is a health, wellness and variety show. It provides a platform for audiences and experts to share their experiences on how to improve or manage health issues, across Kenya and the Africa region.