The United Arab Emirates — UAE continues to grow its influence in Africa with UAE-Zimbabwe trade. According to a report from the official Emirates News Agency, last week, the trade between the UAE and Zimbabwe has increased 300% in the past three years.
Annual bilateral trade between the southern Africαn state and the United Arab Emirates amounted to $400 million three years ago. In 2021, it jumped to $1.6 billion, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the agency.
“The relations between Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates are growing so fast in all sectors,” said Mnangagwa, adding that the United Arab Emirates is now Zimbabwe’s second-largest trading partner.
Relations between the two countries improved after the United Arab Emirates sent aid in response to the Cyclone Idai storm in 2019, according to the statesman.
UAE continues to grow influence in Africa with UAE-Zimbabwe trade — Why it matters
The United Arab Emirates has greatly expanded its influence on the Africαn continent in recent years, including economically.
Last year, the Dubai-based logistics firm DP World pledged to invest more than $1 billion in infrastructure throughout Africa over the next few years.
The Emirates became the fourth-biggest investor in Africα last year. Recent investments have included power generation in Algeria and digitalization endeavors, the Dubai-based business news outlet Zawya reported.
The African Union has a pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai. The pavilion is focused on climate resilience, promoting women in business, infrastructure, and more.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid signed trade and investment agreements with Mnangagwa and the leaders of Botswana and Mauritius at the expo last week.
UAE policy in Africα is not relegated solely to the economic sphere. The Gulf state has also had a military footprint on the continent in recent years.
In 2021, the United Arab Emirates dismantled its military base in Eritrea amid its pullback from the Yemen civil war.
In 2019, the UAE converted its military base in Somaliland into a civilian airport. The UAE maintains good relations with the de-facto state.
Some of the United Arab Emirates’ military-related actions are controversial. The United Arab Emirates has supported Ethiopia in its war in the Tigray region amid allegations of war crimes against the Ethiopian military.
The United Arab Emirates has also offered to mediate the dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt over the former’s Nile river dam.
What’s next: The Dubai Expo 2020 is running until March 31, and there are Africα-related events scheduled for the remainder of the month.
On March 23, there will be an event on financial inclusion in Africα. Two days later, the Angola pavilion will host a business networking event.