The global balance of power is shifting towards a multipolar, fragmented world order. This has a significant impact on Africa's international relations. States like China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, or Turkey are increasing their political, economic, and military engagement on the continent. They offer African states new forms of cooperation and thus potentially more opportunities to shape their foreign relations themselves. But not all actors are equally interested in sustainable development on the continent. In this thematic area, we look at the impact of these developments on African states and their relations with Europe.
India prioritizes Africa and Asia in its allocation of development projects to the Global South. Our research shows that India tends to make financial commitments in areas where China has increased its activities. This appears to be driven by commercial competition, Gerda Asmus (University of Göttingen), Vera Z. Eichenauer (ETH Zurich), Andreas Fuchs (University of Göttingen and IfW Kiel), and Bradley Parks (William & Mary) write in this Megatrends Afrika Spotlight.
African governments and the AU have supported the development of the continent’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. China, too, has increasingly invested in that sector. This Policy Brief argues that while Beijing meets Africa’s need for the development, helps bridge the telecom gap and contributes to connectivity, there are risks surrounding China’s engagement.
Security cooperation has become vital for protecting China’s interests and investments in Africa, especially in the geopolitically important Horn of Africa (HoA). Now, it recently launched the ‘Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa’ and appointed its first special envoy for the region. Both steps suggest that China seeks to become a more prominent development and security provider in the region. As the EU and Germany currently re-evaluate their relations with Beijing as much as with African partner countries, questions arise about the substance of the HoA initiative and what the consequences for peace and security in the region could be.
Perceptions create the framework within which we form opinions and take decisions. This makes it important to monitor how they develop and end up shaping public opinion and politics in Africa. Over the past weeks, Megatrends Afrika has explored different perspectives on how perceptions influence politics. On 15 June 2022, we discussed the results with political decision-makers and representatives from academia and civil society.
Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), or China. More and more actors are becoming involved in Africa. They influence economy and security on the continent in particular. For our first Megatrends Afrika policy workshop, we invited international experts to discuss the role of these actors in Africa: How do the alleged "newcomers" get involved on the continent? What does this mean for German and European engagement?
China is investing in large-scale infrastructure projects across Africa. In Kenya, it has built several of these “mega projects”. While their economic viability remains to be seen, debates on the risks and benefits of Chinese investments and public debt are in full swing. 2022 is not only an important election year in Kenya but also a peak period of debt repayments. In this political climate, Chinese mega projects are either portrayed as symbols of independence and modernity, manifestations of usurpation, or colossal losing deals.