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Grand Strategy and China’s Soft Power Push in Africa

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on August 30, 2018

China is doubling down on its soft power initiatives in Africa as part of China's Grand Strategy to tap emerging markets, shape global governance norms, and expand its influence.

How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port

Recommended research   published by Maria Abi-Habib, New York Times on July 2, 2018

China’s infrastructure deals are ubiquitous across Africa. The motivations behind these deals vary, however. This investigative report details how China leveraged the indebtedness of Sri Lanka to effectively force it to cede a port to China. The experience has implications for the debt trap many African countries face, especially with China, as well as for China's interest in acquiring strategic assets in Africa, military and intelligence interests in China’s commercial activity, oversight over major infrastructure and natural resource contracts including China’s Belt and Road Initiative on the continent, Chinese influence in foreign elections, and risks to African sovereignty.

How China Fuels Deforestation In Nigeria, West Africa

Recommended research   published by Dayo Aiyetan, International Centre for Investigative Reporting on January 18, 2018

Chinese demand for Nigerian rosewood has created a lucrative, yet illegal commercial logging sector in Nigeria’s eastern states. The Nigerian government has chosen profits over environmental protection or the rule of law. Corruption that ranges from bribery of forestry guards to misrepresentation of logging shipments bound for Chinese ports has created the conditions for illegal logging to continue—at least until resources run out and loggers move to the next state. The extensive environmental impacts of illegal logging include increased flooding, erosion, and the removal of animal and plant ecosystems, which leaves certain species facing extinction. Illegal logging also denies communities a source of food and livelihoods.

Nontraditional Actors: China and Russia in African Peace Operations

Recommended research   published by Elor Nkereuwem, The Stimson Center on March 31, 2017

China and Russia (the P2), both permanent members of the UN Security Council, are playing increasing roles in the design and conduct of UN peace operations in Africa. This analysis of the P2’s voting patterns in the Security Council, reflects a shift from a pattern of abstentions to voting for the resolution. The analysis also shows a shift in China’s personnel contributions to these missions, the country has moved from not contributing personnel, to being the largest contributor of troops among the permanent members of the Council. Nonetheless, while the P2 provide strong rhetorical support for African voices to be heard, this does not translate to systematic on the ground support. China’s troop contributions are largely confined to South Sudan. Moreover, support for the resolutions highlights successful P2 efforts to limit the scope of the mandates in question. P2 interests on the continent will continue to align and be reflected in mission mandates and resources.

Managing Security Resources in Africa / Gestion des ressources de sécurité en Afrique

Program Materials  

Professional Development Symposium / Symposium sur le développement professionnel January 15–17 janvier 2019Addis Ababa, Ethiopia / Éthiopie Schedule / Guide pedagogique / Programa: English | Français | Português Syllabus / Programme / Program de Estudos: English | Français | Português Bios: English | Français | Português Overview / Aperçu Presented by / présenté par : Luka... Continue Reading

Q&A: External Actors Shift the Landscape in Africa

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on November 28, 2018

External actors have sought to expand their security partnerships in Africa in recent years. The Africa Center spoke with Judd Devermont, Director of the CSIS Africa Program, about the trends and complexities of these relationships.

Contemporary Security Challenges in the Horn of Africa

Program Materials  

October 16–18, 2018 Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti Read Ahead Program Schedule Bios Session 1 Ethnicity, Governance and Stability Presented by: Mvemba Dizolele (Slides) Session 2 Democracy and Governance Presented by: Mvemba Dizolele (Slides | Video: Congo’s Bloody Coltan) Session 3 Effectiveness of Counterterrorism Responses in the Horn of Africa Presented by: Amy Pate (Slides) Session 4... Continue Reading

Lourenço’s First Year: Angola’s Transitional Politics

Spotlight   published by Alex Vines on September 20, 2018

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.

Africa’s Contemporary Security Challenges

Program Materials  

September 12–14, 2018 Washington, D.C. Syllabus | Program Schedule | Bios Africa Center Overview Presented by: Daniel Hampton (Slides) Plenary 1 Conflict in Africa: Current Trends and Emerging Challenges Presented by: Dr. Dorina Bekoe (Slides | Video) Recommended Reading: Julia Bello-Schünemann et al. 2017. “African Futures: Key Trends to 2035.” Institute for Security Studies, Policy... Continue Reading

Scrapping Presidential Age Limits Sets Uganda on a Course of Instability

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on August 27, 2018

The lifting of the age limits was the second time Uganda’s constitution has been amended to prolong President Museveni’s rule. Ongoing protests reveal public frustration over political retrenchment and the lack of a clear succession plan.