Urbanization and governance shape the political economy of heroin trafficking in Southern and East Africa. Case studies of heroin trafficking dynamics in capital cities, port towns, interior hubs, and border communities suggest that counter-trafficking efforts should strengthen cross-border intelligence sharing, combat government corruption, consider local communities, address the role of informal transport systems in the narcotics trade, and mitigate the drug trade’s role in fueling violence.
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Based on interviews with over 100 smugglers and 3,000 migrants, patterns of migrant smuggling in Mali and Niger emerge. In Niger, prior to the 2015 anti-smuggling law, smuggling networks were easy to join and fluidly linked, not always adhering to a fixed, hierarchical mode of criminal operations. Since then however, more professionalized criminal networks have consolidated market control. Most migrants reported initiating their travel without the encouragement of smugglers, but subsequently used smuggler facilitation services.
African countries are among the world’s most vulnerable to and least prepared for climate change. African citizens prioritize issues that are related to climate change, such as water supply, food shortages, and agriculture. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have devastated African countries that depend on agriculture. Only about 3 in 10 Africans are fully “climate change literate,” combining awareness of climate change with basic knowledge about its causes and negative effects. Building climate resilience will require commitment and coordination, backed by significant resources and a population that supports prioritizing it.
Despite commendable progress over the past decade, continued social and political polarization in Côte d’Ivoire could lead to another bout of instability in a country long known as an anchor in West Africa.
Visiting Fellow. Areas of Expertise: Development, Economics, Managing Security Resources, National Security Strategy Development, Peace and Reconciliation, Political Economy, South Sudan
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2019 program, “National Security Strategy Development Workshop: Central and Southern Africa.” Click here for syllabus, readings, and presentation slides.
Libya's civil war has become an increasingly competitive geostrategic struggle. A UN-brokered settlement supported by non-aligned states is the most viable means for a stable de-escalation, enabling Libya to regain its sovereignty.
Despite important differences, colonial Africa’s experience confronting the Spanish flu a century ago provides historical lessons for the COVID-19 response today.
Presidential task forces, staggered mobility, support for the most vulnerable, and local innovations mark Africa’s adaptive response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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.
ECOWAS’ reputation for upholding democratic norms is facing strain as a growing number of West African leaders alter rules to consolidate power and resist stepping down at the end of their mandated terms.