Europe’s infrastructure diplomacy in Africa: The global gateway

Africa has become a focal point for global geopolitical competition, facing challenges such as the Ukraine war, global inflation, and the Israel-Hamas conflict that have impeded its post-COVID recovery. Rich in untapped mineral and energy resources crucial for the green transition, African nations are drawing increased attention from major powers like the United States, the European Union, China, India, Japan, and Australia. These nations are intensifying collaborations and investments in infrastructure and connectivity projects to explore and utilize Africa’s resources. Infrastructure diplomacy has become a key strategy in navigating global geoeconomic trends. Notably, in 2022 and 2023, China (US$ 10 billion), the EU (US$ 164.98 billion), the US (US$ 55 billion), and Japan (US$ 30 billion) committed substantial aid to enhance regional connectivity in Africa.

In response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the US, EU, and their Western allies are intensifying their efforts. The EU has launched the Global Gateway (GG) in Africa/Europe Investment Package 2022, worth US$164.98 billion, as part of the broader strategy to counter Chinese influence. This initiative focuses on 11 economic corridors, with the North-Central-East African (NCEA) strategic corridor being a key area of analysis in this article. The EU’s move reflects the global competition for strategic resources and highlights the geoeconomic implications of this strategic corridor.