The deployment of Chinese security firms in Africa is expanding without a strong regulatory framework. This poses heightened risks to African citizens and raises fundamental questions over responsibility for security in Africa.
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A preponderance of COVID vaccine myths is causing many Africans to forego vaccinations at a time when new, more transmissible coronavirus variants are spreading across the continent.
(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.
The Africa Military Education Program (AMEP) helps to strengthen professional military education institutions across the African continent through focused investments in faculty development and improved curriculum design and content.
The power imbalance between China and Africa poses a challenge for negotiating equitable investment deals. The interests of African citizens can be strengthened through agreements that are transparent, involve experts, and facilitate public engagement.
Acute food insecurity in Africa has increased by over 60 percent in the past year and threatens to widen further as the effects of COVID-19 exacerbate other drivers such as conflict and political mismanagement.
Africa is slated to hold 13 national elections in 2021. Roughly half of these are in the Horn and the central Sahel. Reflective of the democratic backsliding observed on the continent in recent years, more than a third of these polls are little more than political theater – aimed at garnering a fig leaf of legitimacy for leaders who arguably lack a popular mandate. A fundamental question for this year’s elections, therefore, isn’t just about who will win, but how these leaders will be viewed afterward. Will the same level of legitimacy be conferred on leaders who stay in office via these stage-managed processes? Until these leaders bear a reputational cost for lowering the bar of electoral integrity, this trend can be expected to continue.
Despite important differences, colonial Africa’s experience confronting the Spanish flu a century ago provides historical lessons for the COVID-19 response today.
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.
Turkey has become increasingly prominent in Africa affairs since the “Open to Africa” policy began in 2005. Focused in the Horn of Africa and on political and economic engagements, Turkey’s role should not be discounted. Bilateral engagements with Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia include airline routes, schools, mosques, and commercial investment. Turkish engagement in the Horn of Africa can best be understood in light of its shifting domestic situation and the Erdogan government’s desire to project influence outside of the Middle East.
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.