AJCS to discuss international competition in Africa

13 July 2021

Al Jazeera Centre for Studies and Al Jazeera Mubasher are organising a web conference entitled, “International Competition in Africa: Motives, Parties and Dimensions,” set to take place on 14-15 June 2021, at 5:30 pm Mecca standard time. A select group of researchers and experts will participate in the conference, which will be aired on Al Jazeera Mubasher and Al Jazeera Centre for Studies’ digital platforms.

The conference comes in the context of increasing indications that the African continent has become a hotspot for international conflict between various players. As mentioned in the concept note, the United States, for example, has been interested in security and military aspects in different parts of Africa for some time while China plays important economic and investment roles. France, however, seems to be the only player in certain parts of the continent, especially those that were under its colonial influence. Russia, on the other hand, has emerged recently as a player in some countries alongside Turkey, Israel, Iran and others. These countries compete and clash over Africa’s investment-hungry markets, rapidly growing populations, immense resources, and governments that lack the tools to impose security and stability, modernise infrastructure and provide basic services. In addition, the continent’s geographic location makes Africa of particular strategic importance as it has major straits in international shipping routes and is the second largest continent in area and geographic stretch.

To explore the nature of the international competition in Africa and its motives, parties and dimensions as well as forecast its future in light of conflicting strategies, Al Jazeera Centre for Studies is organising an international conference to discuss the following themes in four sessions over two days:

Day One

Opening remarks

Session One: 17:30-18:45

The motives behind international conflict in Africa

  • The importance of geographic location: Abdullah Raghi, researcher at Somalia Center for Studies
  • Energy in Africa: Haroun Ba, Senegalese researcher specialising in political science
  • Minerals and marine resources: Idriss Ayat, academic researcher at Kuwait University
  • Africa: a market for arms: Shady Ibrahim, researcher at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University

Session Two: 19:00-20:30

Competing parties and their different strategies

  • France and the colonial legacy: Mohamed Salem Ould Amar, Director of Africa Centre for Studies and Media Services
  • America and its security priority in Africa: Nesim Behlul, Professor of Higher Education, Department of Political Science at Blida 2 University
  • China: Africa is a strategic reservoir for raw materials: Mostafa Djali, Moroccan researcher specializing in geopolitical affairs and international relations
  • Russia and the return of global geopolitical influence: Taj el-Sir Abdullah Mohamed Omar, expert on military and security affairs

Day Two

Session One: 17:30-18:45

The constant and the changing in international competition in Africa

  • The West and Africa: conditional partnerships: Senussi Bsaikri, Director of the Libyan Centre for Research and Development
  • China and unrestricted partnerships: Bouhania Goui, professor of political science and international relations and at the University of Ouargla
  • Africa: Russia’s backyard for conflict with the West: Shamsan Awadh al-Tamimi, media researcher specialising in Tanzania and the Horn of Africa
  • New competing powers in Africa: Serhat Orakçı, researcher specialising in African politics at the Humanitarian and Social Research Center (INSAMER)

Session Two: 19:00-20:30

The future of international competition in Africa

  • The future of security in Africa: Nabil Zekaoui, research professor in political science and international relations
  • The prospects of French influence in Africa: Ismail Elcheikh Sidia, writer and political analyst specialising in the Sahel and Sahara regions
  • Will Africa remain subservient?: Noureddine Abda, Ethiopian journalist and researcher specialising in Ethiopian affairs and the Horn of Africa
  • Promising African models: Mohamed Turshin, Director of the Future Sudan Institute for International Studies
  • African-Western issues, French presence in west Africa and Arab-African relations: Mohamed al-Mostafa Tin, researcher specialising in African affairs