On November 9, Saudi Arabia signed over $533 million USD worth of agreements with African countries during the Saudi-Arab-African Economic Conference. Saudi commitments marked a diplomatic tilt towards nations in the Global South. Whilst the Conference was ostensibly a product of Saudi’s desire to diversify its economy, it may have also been a counter to sustained Gulf intervention on the African continent. Over the next 24 months, Saudi Arabia’s investment will have implications for its geo-political rivalries and the Global South’s response to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Key Judgement 1- It is highly likely that Saudi Arabia’s investment in Africa will act as a front to diminish incursions from external patrons.
Key Judgement 2- Iran’s partners and proxies will likely counter Saudi influence in the region over the next 24 months.
Key Judgement 3- Saudi Arabia’s investment will likely encourage AU states to employ a definitive stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.