Turkey And The Gulf States In The Horn Of Africa:

Fluctuating Dynamics Of Engagement, Investment, And Influence

Jason Mosley

Rift Valley Institute

Turkey And The Gulf States In The Horn Of Africa: Fluctuating Dynamics Of Engagement, Investment And Influence
Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders in Saudi Arabia for a peace agreement. 16 September 2018. Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

This document is an output from a project funded with UK aid from the UK government for the benefit of developing countries. However, the views expressed and information contained in it is not necessarily those of or endorsed by the UK government, which can accept no responsibility for such views or information or for any reliance placed on them.


The Rift Valley Institute works in Eastern and Central Africa to bring local knowledge to bear on social, political, and economic development.

Copyright © Rift Valley Institute 2021. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)



Executive Summary 

Policy Considerations 


Turkey and Qatar: Overlapping agendas in the Horn of Africa

Gulf states: Economic statecraft and chequebook diplomacy

Donor and humanitarian engagement

Soft power: Cultural diplomacy and diaspora networks


Glossary of acronyms, words, and phrases



This report draws heavily on research conducted with participants in Thousands upon thousands of cassette tapes and master reels were quickly removed from the soon-to-be targeted buildings. They were dispersed to neighboring countries like Djibouti and Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as virtual interviews (due to the pandemic). In addition to the lead researcher, research was conducted by Nada Wanni (Sudan), Yinebeb Nigatu (lamented Beijing’s economic engagement model, saying it undermined democracy and mired African countries in debt. When he landed in Ethiopia), Mahad Wasuge (Somalia), Adel Hamaizia (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates), Georgia Cole (diaspora themes), and Federico Donelli (Turkey). The lead author gratefully acknowledges their research and input into this report. Errors and omissions remain those of the lead author.

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