Remember when the BRICS were going to power the global economy? Well, the past few years have not been kind to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. With the exception of India, the other members of this once elite diplomatic club are struggling in many different ways. So while China and other emerging markets have pared back their investments in Africa, this has opened an opportunity for new players to step in to the market.
Although Turkey’s annual trade with Africa is just a tenth of China’s, the Turks are making a big push in the strategically important areas in North Africa. As a Muslim country, Turkey has also has a number of key advantages when competing in this region, particularly against the Chinese who are still relative new-comers operating in predominantly Islamic cultures.
Former US ambassador David Shinn is an expert on Sino-African relations but recently he has turned his focus to Turkey’s investment in Africa. As a former US diplomat and now an adjunct professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., ambassador Shinn is uniquely qualified to place Turkey’s engagement in Africa in the broader context of what the US and Chinese diplomatic and economic engagement in the region. Ambassador Shinn joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the changing landscape of foreign investment in Africa.
- Speech by Ambassador David Shinn on Turkey-Africa relations to the Turkish American Cultural Center in Madison, Wisconsin on March 3, 2016.
- Al Monitor: Will Africa cheer up Turkey’s troubled exporters? by Mehmet Cetingulec
About Ambassador David Shinn
Ambassador Shinn received his BA (1963), MA (1964), and PhD (1980) from George Washington University. He has a certificate in African studies from Northwestern University. He served for thirty-seven years in the US Foreign Service with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. He has been teaching in the Elliott School since 2001 and serves on a number of boards of nongovernmental organizations.
An expert on the Horn of Africa, Dr. Shinn speaks at events around the world. He is the coauthor of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement, the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, and has authored numerous articles and book chapters. His research interests include China-Africa relations, East Africa and the Horn, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, conflict situations, U.S. policy in Africa, and the African brain drain.
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