Remember when the BRICS were going to power the global economy? Well, the past few years have not been kind to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. With the exception of India, the other members of this once elite diplomatic club are struggling in many different ways. So while China and other emerging markets have pared back their investments in Africa, this has opened an opportunity for new players to step into the market.
Although Turkey's annual trade with Africa is just about one-tenth of China's, the Turks are making a big push in the strategically important areas in North Africa. As an overwhelmingly Muslim country, Turkey also has a number of key advantages when competing in this region, particularly against the Chinese who are still relative newcomers operating in predominantly Islamic cultures.
Former U.S. Ambassador David Shinn is an expert on Sino-African relations, but recently he has turned his focus to Turkey's investment in Africa. As a former U.S. diplomat and now an adjunct professor at George Washington University in Washington, Ambassador Shinn is uniquely qualified to place Turkey's engagement in Africa in the broader context of U.S. and Chinese diplomatic and economic engagement in the region. Ambassador Shinn joins Eric & Cobus -- in the podcast above -- to discuss the changing landscape of foreign investment in Africa.
Watch Eric Olander discuss U.S. and Chinese competition for influence in Africa on HuffPost Live: