With Turkey and Qatar increasing their diplomatic and economic footprint on the continent, Saudi Arabia is playing catch-up by preparing to host its first Africa summit in the first half of 2022. Riyad also plans to open more embassies on the continent.
In anticipation of the gradual withdrawal of France's Operation Barkhane, American security advisors are focusing on modernising the capacities of the Sahel's armies as jihadist and rebel groups continue to destabilise the region.
Following President Macron's announcement on 10 June of France's plans to end Operation Barkhane, the French presidency is trying to mobilise its partners regarding the situation in the Sahel. French diplomats have begun a major operation to persuade the European Union, the UN and the African Union to get more involved in the region, with a Sahel Coalition summit coming up in July and France due to take the chair of the UN Security Council on 1 July.
The death of the Chadian president, who had been at the head of the G5 Sahel since February, has left a leadership vacuum. The group's heads of state are expected to meet in N'Djamena on 22 April to convince the Transitional Military Council to hand the presidency to Burkina Faso.
In mid-February the Emirati crown prince assured G5 Sahel heads of state that he would disburse the final two-thirds of his pledge announced with great fanfare in December 2017. To date, only €10m of a promised €30m have been transferred to the Sahelian alliance.