UAE influence in Africa rivals US, China: Bloomberg

The UAE has committed significant financial resources, totaling $44.5 billion last year, making it the top investor in Africa for the second consecutive year.

A report by Bloomberg on Thursday detailed how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has “quietly” become a key player in the African continent.

As per Bloomberg, the Gulf country has gained influence by becoming increasingly involved in African affairs, rivaling the influence of China and the US.

The UAE recently invested an astounding $35 billion to “support” Egypt, and billions more were invested in various African countries.

The Gulf country’s diplomatic efforts are also observable in backing certain factions in regional conflicts.

According to the report, while Chinese investments have decreased in the African continent, and while the West is showing less consistent or enthusiastic involvement in African affairs, the UAE has made a strategic move in an attempt to fill the void left by global powers.


The report suggests that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both neighboring Gulf states to the UAE, are also adopting similar strategies, albeit to a lesser extent.

It further says that the “Gulf states’ historic North-African sphere of influence,” possibly referring to Egypt, Libya, and Sudan, has expanded to include other countries “into every corner of the continent.”

The UAE has committed significant financial resources, totaling $44.5 billion last year, making it the top investor in Africa for the second consecutive year, Bloomberg says.

These investments are primarily directed towards renewable energy, logistics, and technology sectors.

The countries targeted for investment include Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and Kenya.

The report also mentions the UAE’s role in conflicts across the continent. But unlike its broad investment strategy, its involvement in conflicts tends to be more localized, focusing primarily on regions closer to the Middle East.

For instance, the country backs Khalifa Haftar in Libya, Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed against Tigray rebels, and Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Though the UAE has denied allegations of supporting the RSF, UN investigators have found otherwise.

From substantial government financial support and support for local leaders to managing nine of Africa’s major ports through Dubai-based DP World and allocating $4.5 billion in climate financing, the UAE is exercising significant influence on a large scale.

“That’s making the nation of 10 million a force to be reckoned with alongside the traditional big powers like China, the US, and Europe,” the report concludes.


While the report made some valid points, it dismisses the fact that the UAE is diplomatically, economically, and militarily aligned with the US.

The UAE is in fact reinforcing US foothold in the African continent because it conducts a significant amount of trade and investment in US dollars.

It is worth noting that like other oil-exporting countries, the UAE is part of the petrodollar system.

Oil is traded globally in US dollars, and the revenues generated by the UAE’s oil exports are primarily received in US dollars.