President Lourenço’s efforts to reform Angola have focused on fighting corruption and entrenched patronage networks after 37 years of rule of President Dos Santos. But campaigns to improve accountability and legitimacy of the state’s institutions have been unevenly implemented. The new President has succeeded in improving freedom of the press and in removing the former president’s inner circle, including his children, from their influential positions. But his moves to reform the security sector have been met with criticism and fear that they risk consolidating the ruling party’s control and reversing the progress made in integrating the former fighting factions into a unified, effective, force.
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While João Lourenço has made headlines for high-profile corruption indictments against the dos Santos family patronage network, Angola’s authoritarian political system remains largely unchanged.
João Lourenço’s first year in office has been marked by notable reforms and the consolidation of power. If ordinary Angolans are to benefit this momentum must continue, along with institutional checks that can curb the excesses of the past.
Angola’s new administration will face a myriad of challenges that cannot be resolved without reforms. Is there a chance for change or just more of the same?
With urban population densities and poverty rates among the world’s highest, innovative measures will be needed to prevent African cities from becoming hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus is placing severe strains on Africa’s health, economic, and security sectors. Mitigation and suppression efforts will require a comprehensive government response built on clear communications and public trust.
Given its fragile public health systems and close ties to China, Africa is vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus, highlighting the continent’s centrality to global health security.
As senior Portuguese representative, Captain Joaquim Pacheco Santos serves as a liaison between the Africa Center and the Portuguese Ministry of Defense, coordinating exchanges on security-related Africa policy and scholarship.
With Africa's population expected to double by 2050, the rapid increase in the number of forcibly displaced Africans of the past decade will continue to expand unless key drivers are reversed.
(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.
China's Belt and Road Initiative forges intertwining economic, political, and security ties between Africa and China, advancing Beijing’s geopolitical interests.
Africa's rapidly evolving maritime security environment has prompted innovations in Africa's maritime security architecture, leading to greater regional coordination.