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Countering Violent Extremism in Africa

Topic in Focus   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 1, 2022

Violent extremism remains one of Africa’s most pressing security threats. The following publications provide a series of resources for countering violent extremism initiatives in Africa.

Building Youth Resilience to Extremism in Mozambique: Perspectives From Cabo Delgado

Recommended research   published by Amanda Lucey and Jaynisha Patel, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation on January 31, 2022

Youth are disproportionately at risk from extremism, particularly in situations where they have little to lose. In northern Mozambique, poverty, unemployment, low levels of participation in governance and the lack of inclusive development stand out. The Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique has gained some traction due to its members’ promises of material benefits such as food, employment, and community. It is critical that youth be actively engaged by local officials on a continual basis.

Developing Local Strategies to Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) in Africa

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program cohosted with the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism that focuses on effective community policing as a tool for countering violent extremism. This program provides an opportunity to capture and share insights, experiences, and lessons, among countries and across regions, about both the implementation challenges in community policing and the practical experiences in bridging gaps between the security sector and the communities they are entrusted with protecting and serving

Understanding the Origins of Violent Extremism in Cabo Delgado

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

Implementing Regional Strategies to Counter Violent Extremism and Terrorism

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

Cyber Dimensions of Violent Extremism in Africa

Program Materials  

A webinar on May 19, 2021, to expand understanding of how the spread of digital technology is affecting the financing and recruitment of violent extremist groups in Africa; explore how emerging technologies such as cyber capabilities, remote weapons, and drones are influencing the strategies and tactics of violent extremists; improve understanding of the degree to which African extremist groups possess the capability or intent to attempt or sponsor a major cyberattack; and deepen comprehension of how local, national, and international authorities can prepare and respond to the use of emerging technologies by violent extremist organizations.

Innovations and Challenges in Countering Violent Extremism in Africa

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

Community Policing Approaches to Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in Africa

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program cohosted with the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism that focuses on effective community policing as a tool for countering violent extremism. This program provides an opportunity to capture and share insights, experiences, and lessons, among countries and across regions, about both the implementation challenges in community policing and the practical experiences in bridging gaps between the security sector and the communities they are entrusted with protecting and serving

Violent Extremism, Organized Crime, and Local Conflicts in the Liptako-Gourma Region

Recommended research   published by William Assanvo, Baba Dakono, Lori-Anne Theroux-Bénoni & Ibrahim Maïga, Institute for Security Studies on December 31, 2019

In the Liptako-Gourma region, violent extremist groups frequently have direct or indirect links to the political economy of arms trafficking, drug trafficking, poaching, cattle rustling, artisanal mining, and the organized theft of fuel and motorcycles. Jihadist groups tend to be pragmatic and opportunistic in their linkages to organized crime, and sometimes use links to criminal groups to procure sustenance, equipment, and supplies; tax the flows of illicit products that others are moving; or regulate local opportunities to conduct illicit activities.

Responding to the Rise in Violent Extremism in the Sahel

Africa Security Brief No. 36   published by Pauline Le Roux on December 2, 2019

Reversing the escalating violence of militant Islamist groups in the Sahel will require an enhanced security presence coupled with more sustained outreach to local communities.