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Gambia’s Road to Democratic Reform

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 24, 2018

Since the inauguration of Adama Barrow after 22 years of authoritarian rule, Gambia's democratic reforms have benefited from political will, national ownership, and international backing. However, the country's dark legacy continues to pose risks to the process.

High Stakes in Gambia: Security Implications

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on January 23, 2017

Gambia narrowly averted a regional crisis when Yahya Jammeh stepped down. The coordinated action of neighboring countries and regional organizations could provide a model for future governance crises.

National Security Strategy Development Process: Lessons Learned

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program on the development and implementation of national security strategy in Africa. This program will provide a forum for a multidisciplinary group of senior officials to explore National Security Strategy Development (NSSD) concepts and processes.

Reimagining the Security Sector in Sudan

Program Materials  

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies and the US Institute of Peace (USIP) will convene an academic webinar series that explores the lessons learned of the roles of the security sector and national security strategy development during times of transition from military to civilian rule. The webinar series will provide an opportunity to share evidence-based insights and experiences and their implications for Sudan during its challenging transition to a civilian-led, democratic government.

Taking Stock of Africa’s 2021 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 12, 2021

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.

National Security Strategy Development and Implementation

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program on the development and implementation of national security strategy in Africa. This program will provide a forum for a multidisciplinary group of senior officials to explore National Security Strategy Development (NSSD) concepts and processes.

Lessons from the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic in Africa

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 13, 2020

Despite important differences, colonial Africa’s experience confronting the Spanish flu a century ago provides historical lessons for the COVID-19 response today.

Defusing the Political Crisis in Guinea

Spotlight   published by Alix Boucher on April 28, 2020

President Alpha Condé’s maneuvers to adopt a new Constitution despite popular opposition are another step toward subverting democratic checks and balances in order to secure a third term as president.

ECOWAS Risks Its Hard-Won Reputation

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 6, 2020

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.

Examining Togo’s Implausible Election Results

Spotlight   published by Alix Boucher on March 2, 2020

Despite opposition counts showing they won 72 percent of the vote, Faure Gnassingbé was declared the winner of Togo’s presidential election, advancing his bid to continue his family’s 53-year rule.

Five Issues to Watch in Togo’s Presidential Election

Spotlight   published by Alix Boucher on February 14, 2020

Popular demand to end the 50-year rule of the Gnassingbé family puts the spotlight on Togo’s authoritarian practices and ECOWAS’s vow to uphold democratic norms.