The increased interactions between Africa and the Middle East hold the
potential to spur economic development, improve diplomatic relations, and
enhance security. However, geopolitical rivalry and challenging and changing
alliances between Middle Eastern countries, and the pursuit of extremist
political and religious interests in Africa by state and non-state actors are
threatening the promise of deeper positive engagements and complicating
effective advancement of Africa–Middle East relations. Such complications
are having adverse effects on both interstate and intrastate relations across
the continent. This is particularly because following the sustained war on
the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and the return of uncertainty following
the ‘Taliban takeover’ in Afghanistan, Africa will certainly emerge, again, as
the next frontier for extremist ideologies.

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