The recent military coup in Niger marks the point of no return for the unraveling of France’s dominant economic and military influence across West Africa. Turkey is the foreign actor that stands to benefit most, with the potential to emerge as a leading strategic partner for the nations of the region. Turkey’s engagement with West Africa is a unique, dual approach that blends military and economic engagement while deftly intertwining humanitarian aid and cultural outreach. Ankara has already become a significant provider of weapons systems and military training while Turkish firms concurrently have been creating a commercial architecture of integrated manufacturing activity stretching from the Central Maghreb to coastal West Africa. As the interior territory within this architecture, the landlocked, Sahel nations of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, each now ruled by a military junta, present both challenges and opportunities for the advancement of Turkey’s ‘military industrial complex’ in West Africa.
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