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African spaces

The new geopolitical frontlines
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The ‘new scramble for Africa’, characterised by renewed interest in the continent by foreign powers eager to expand their influence there, has been a salient feature of Africa’s geopolitical dynamics in recent years. This Chaillot Paper asks the question: what are the emerging spaces where power competition is taking place in the African continent? It argues that a space today is not just conceptualised as a territory, but can encompass a broader range of non-territorial dimensions, such as cyberspace or the ‘infosphere’, which have recently gained prominence due to the emergence of new innovations and technologies.

Eight distinct spaces are identified which can be seen as the main frontlines of power competition in the continent. While the first section focuses on geographical spaces, the second section focuses on key ‘functional spaces’ – including the trade and digital sectors, the job market and the information space – and examines how new power relations and dynamics are unfolding in these domains.

The volume connects the dots between the different arenas of geopolitical contest, offering new guiding principles for a stronger strategic relationship between the EU and African partners.