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The Challenges of Reform in Angola

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on January 21, 2020

While João Lourenço has made headlines for high-profile corruption indictments against the dos Santos family patronage network, Angola’s authoritarian political system remains largely unchanged.

Lourenço’s First Year: Angola’s Transitional Politics

Spotlight   published by Alex Vines on September 20, 2018

João Lourenço’s first year in office has been marked by notable reforms and the consolidation of power. If ordinary Angolans are to benefit this momentum must continue, along with institutional checks that can curb the excesses of the past.

How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port

Recommended research   published by Maria Abi-Habib, New York Times on July 2, 2018

China’s infrastructure deals are ubiquitous across Africa. The motivations behind these deals vary, however. This investigative report details how China leveraged the indebtedness of Sri Lanka to effectively force it to cede a port to China. The experience has implications for the debt trap many African countries face, especially with China, as well as for China's interest in acquiring strategic assets in Africa, military and intelligence interests in China’s commercial activity, oversight over major infrastructure and natural resource contracts including China’s Belt and Road Initiative on the continent, Chinese influence in foreign elections, and risks to African sovereignty.

Angola: Real Change, or Just Old Wine in New Wineskins?

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

Angola’s new administration will face a myriad of challenges that cannot be resolved without reforms. Is there a chance for change or just more of the same?

Regime Cash Machine: How the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Booming Mining Exports Are Failing to Benefit its People

Recommended research   published by Global Witness on July 31, 2017

The Democratic Republic of the Congo mining sector is booming but more than $750 million in mining revenues have disappeared between 2013 and 2015. The taxes, paid by mining companies to state coffers vanished into Gecamines, the country’s dysfunctional state-owned mining company and various tax agencies. This investigation finds credible evidence that at least some of the funds ended up in accounts linked to President Joseph Kabila himself, his family, and corrupt networks with links to the regime.

Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean: A Discussion with Assis Malaquias

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 26, 2017

The Indian Ocean is a vital conduit for trade. It's also a domain where security threats, including piracy, trafficking, and illegal fishing, thrive. Former Africa Center professor Assis Malaquias reflects on its relevance to national security in Africa.

China Promotes Its Party-Army Model in Africa

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on July 28, 2020

China’s party-army model, whereby the army is subordinate to a single ruling party, is antithetical to the multiparty democratic systems with an apolitical military accountable to elected leaders adopted by most African countries.

Post-Nkurunziza Burundi: The Rise of the Generals

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on June 22, 2020

In Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza's sudden death has exposed power struggles within the ruling party and the ascendancy of the military.

Keeping Terrorism at Bay in Mauritania

Spotlight   published by Anouar Boukhars on June 16, 2020

Mauritania’s security reforms, including training, enhanced mobility, Special Forces, prudent procurement, and community engagement have strengthened its capability to confront violent extremist groups.