Africa's resources have long been coveted by foreign powers, first reaching a head in what is now known as the scramble for Africa in the 19th century. Though that style of colonialism is long gone, and African economies are among the most prominent emerging markets on earth, global superpowers are again looking to Africa, putting the continent on the front lines of a battle to secure resources, influence and geostrategic partners.
Over the past decade, China's enthusiasm for economic partnership with African countries has increased significantly, so much so that China has now surpassed the US as the continent's largest trading partner, and has overtaken the World Bank as the continent's biggest creditor.
With interest in the continent only growing, and countries such as Brazil, Japan, India and Turkey all trying to wield influence for minerals, agricultural land and resources, a new scramble for the continent has emerged.
Al Jazeera tracks rival US and Chinese activities on the continent, focusing on trade, development aid, surveillance and peacekeeping.
Follow Mohsin Ali on Twitter: @mohsin
Additional reporting and research by Jacob Powell and Azad Essa.