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ECOWAS’s Efforts at Resolving Guinea-Bissau’s Protracted Political Crisis, 2015-2019

Recommended research   published by ACCORD on September 2, 2019

A power struggle between former President José Mário Vaz and Guinea-Bissau’s ruling Party for the Independence for Guinea and Cape Verde plunged the country into a series of political and institutional crises following the dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira in August 2015. From the beginning ECOWAS took an active role in resolving the impasse, embarking on several rounds of mediation missions led by former and current regional heads of state, as well as a delegation of regional ministers. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the October 2016 Conakry Accord, a 10-point roadmap for resolution designed to foster political stability and cooperation among the country’s governing members. ECOWAS’s sustained engagement in Guinea-Bissau provides a blueprint for future political and institutional crises in the region.

Drug Trafficking in Guinea-Bissau, 1998–2014: The Evolution of an Elite Protection Network

Recommended research   published by Mark Shaw, The Journal of Modern African Studies on September 30, 2015

Drug trafficking in West Africa has increased dramatically over the last two decades, with nearly a quarter of all of Europe’s cocaine being trans-shipped through the region at one point. An essential locale in this trafficking was Guinea-Bissau, often called a “narco state.” In reality, however, the trafficking stemmed from a small politico-military elite that worked in conjunction with independent entrepreneurs. The institutional entanglement implied by the term “narco-state” was not there.

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.

What the Coronavirus Means for Africa

Spotlight   published by Shannon Smith on February 4, 2020

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.

An Overview of Africa’s 2019 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on January 31, 2019

The struggle to institutionalize legitimate and resilient democracies in Africa will be further shaped by the 2019 elections – with direct consequences for security.

Criminality in Africa’s Fishing Industry: A Threat to Human Security

Africa Security Brief No. 33   published by André Standing on June 6, 2017

Conflicts of interest within Africa's fisheries sector enable unsustainable exploitation by foreign fishing firms and undercut the political will needed to build more robust surveillance and prosecutorial capacity.

The Illicit Superhighway: Transnational Organized Crime in Africa

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 22, 2017

The distinction between legitimate and illicit business in Africa is fluid due to the significant size of informal trade on the continent. At the same time, globalization has allowed organized criminal groups to link up with international networks, including violent extremists.

The Evolution of African Peacekeeping

Spotlight   published by Michael D. Rettig on May 26, 2016

Africa currently hosts over 100,000 peacekeeping personnel. Contributions by African nations are rising and are more diversified—with some big exceptions.

Alumna Profile: Nanténé Coulibaly, Senegal

Alumni Profile   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 22, 2016

Nanténé Coulibaly joined the Africa Center alumni community in 2014, when she participated in the Next Generation of African Security Sector Leaders Program. This annual program focuses on the core elements of ethical leadership within the security sector and employs a plenary and discussion group format that allows participants to exchange their experiences and ideas.... Continue Reading