Why the GCC States Think Africa Is Worth Fighting Over
MIN READMay 1, 2018 | 10:30 GMT
A company based in Dubai operates the Port of Algiers -- depicted here -- and the Port of Djen-Djen. The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council are deepening their ties with countries across Africa through investment projects and increased trade.
(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Africa's cultural and trade links to the modern Middle East run deep, thanks largely to their geographic proximity. Adjacent to the continent and separated from it by only the Red Sea, the Arabian Peninsula has a particularly strong influence in Africa, which many countries in the region are hoping to expand. The wealthy states that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have increased their economic and political ties across the continent over the past decade. For the bloc's members -- and especially the three most powerful GCC countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar -- Africa is a key component in an initiative to adopt a more visible foreign policy. Increasing their sway on the continent will enable the Gulf states to achieve prominence on the international stage and to gain trade partners, while also establishing them as the gatekeepers of Africa's up and coming economies.