Conference: In whose interests? Exploring Middle East involvement in Africa

The Afro-Middle East Centre invites you to an international conference entitled 'In whose interests? Exploring Middle East involvement in Africa'.

AMEC’s international conference scheduled for 5 to 6 November 2013 promises a close interrogation of the nature and extent of Middle Eastern states' penetration into Africa. Around twenty Middle East and African speakers and scholars will come together to deliberate on various issues such as aid to Africa, the role of the African Union, educational links, and desire for African resources in the interaction between the two regions.

Academics, politicians and analysts will discuss and deliberate on the history of governmental and civil relations, and possible futures that the Middle East and African people can expect to arise from current patterns of exchange. <p " align="LEFT">See also: Conference Concept Note, Call for papers

Date: 5-6 November 2013

Venue: Burgerspark Hotel, 2 Lilian Ngoyi St, Pretoria (S 25 45.175 E 28 11.641)

Conference Sessions include:

Middle Eastern Foreign Policies and Africa, Religion and Education as Soft Power, Neocolonialism and Africa as Battle Ground

Speakers include:
Kojo Aidoo, Garth le Pere, Eric Lob, Ayala Levin, Yacoob Omar, Metin Atmaca, Marco Zoppi, Agienszka Paczynska, Mehmet Ozkan, Tumelo Ngwako, Rawia Amer, Ahmad Amal, Terry Crawford-Browne, Mahgoub Mahmoud, Abdurrahim Siradag, David Mednicoff, Mbaye Lo, Kristina Dohrn


Conference Programme


09:00     Middle Eastern foreign policies and Africa

  • Welcome & Introduction - Na'eem Jeenah
  • Development cooperation and the foreign policies of Middle Eastern states: Towards a conceptual framework - Garth le Pere

10:30     Tea

11:00     Aid to Africa: For whose benefit?

  • Assessing GCC states’ humanitarian aid programmes to Africa - Ahmad Amal
  • Does “Rising Power” mean “Rising Donor”? Turkey’s development aid in Africa - Mehmet Ozkan
  • Comfort in intention or reward in actions - Tumelo Ngwako
  • Emerging Middle East donors and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa - Agnieszka Paczynska


13:00     Lunch


14:00     Religion and Education as Soft Power

  • Exploiting the religious link: Saudi Agenda in Africa and its effects in Somalia and Mali - Marco Zoppi
  • Understanding the transnational Gulen movement in the African context – Erkan Toguslu
  • Islamic institutions of higher learning in Africa: Collaboration or co-option? - Mbaye Lo
  • Turkish public diplomacy and its implications in Sub-Saharan Africa” - Ali Osman Mert


16:00     Tea


 09:00     Neocolonialism: Resources, land and markets

  • Strategic partnership between Africa and Turkey: Self-interest or altruism - Abdurrahim Siradag
  • The Arab Gulf in Africa: Neocolonialism or something else? - David Mednicoff
  • Israeli war profiteering in Africa - Terry Crawford-Browne
  • Food security or land grabs: what’s behind the large-scale purchase of African land by GCC countries? - Yacoob Abba Omar


11:00     Tea

11:30     Africa as battleground

  • Iran’s struggle for Africa: Anti-colonialism and Shi’a rhetoric among Muslim communities - Metin Atmaca
  • Iran and Israel in East Africa: Extending the cold war to Sudan - Rawia M.Tawfik Amer
  • The Iranian Construction Jihad: A Case of Shiite-Sunni transnationalism in Africa - Eric Lob
  • Cracks in the walls: Israel’s aid-ideology in Sub-Saharan Africa 1958-1973 - Ayala Levin

     Lunch 14:30     Future prospects for Middle East-Africa relations

  • A Pan-Africanist insight to straighten out Africa-Middle Eastern relationships - Mahgoub Mahmoud
  • The Arab League and the African Union: Reflections - Kojo Opoku Aidoo
  • Towards a framework for future Africa-Middle East relations - Galip Dalay

    Closing Remarks by Na'eem Jeenah

16:45     Tea

Attendance at the conference will be strictly by pre-registration only. To register, click here or email conference at (replacing at with @).

Last modified on Friday, 20 February 2015 08:15
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