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Justice and Rule of Law Key to African Security

Spotlight   published by Catherine Lena Kelly on May 25, 2021

The integration of justice initiatives within conventional security efforts can mitigate conflict, improve societal resilience, and build a stronger culture supportive of the rule of law.

The Rule of Law and the Role of Customary Courts in Stabilizing South Sudan

Spotlight   published by Godfrey Musila on May 29, 2018

English | Français | العربية Rule of Law in a Weak State South Sudan’s descent into civil war in 2013, 2 years after independence, has devastated families, communities, and institutions—including judicial institutions. Already fragile following decades of war against Khartoum, state institutions had yet to penetrate throughout the territory, and many were still in the... Continue Reading

Russia’s Strategic Goals in Africa

(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.

The Dismantling of Benin’s Democracy

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on April 27, 2021

President Patrice Talon’s manipulation of electoral rules and cooption of democratic processes have caused Benin to slide quickly from a multi-party democracy to a semi-authoritarian regime, portending heightened instability.

Nigeria’s Diverse Security Threats

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on March 30, 2021

Nigeria faces an array of security challenges beyond Boko Haram. Distinguishing these threats and understanding their socio-geographic contours is essential for adapting customized solutions.

The Erosion of Term Limits in Africa Reflects Worrying Trend

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on February 12, 2021

Africa saw a precipitous decline in the upholding of term limits in 2020. Of the 12 presidential elections held on the continent, five had incumbents facing term limits. Yet, in only one case, Niger’s President Mahmadou Issoufou, did the incumbent abide by this limit. Conversely, Faure Gnassingbé (Togo), Alpha Condé (Guinea), and Alassane Ouattara (Côte... Continue Reading

Power Shift in the DRC Cracks open a Door to Reform

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on January 22, 2021

A shift in the balance of power within the National Assembly enhances the influence of President Felix Tshisekedi and represents a step toward long-delayed democratic reforms.

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.

Professional Development for Countering Transnational Organized Crime

Program Materials  

A series of monthly academic webinars for alumni examining the political economy of the actors and markets involved in transnational organized crime (TOC) and analyzing how to strategically diagnose and respond to TOC in ways that strengthen citizen security for all and build resilience. The webinars will feature academic and practitioner experts, and Africa Center alumni are invited to attend, either for one or more sessions or the whole series of discussions.

Safeguarding Democracy in West Africa

Spotlight   published by Alan Doss on September 29, 2020

West Africa must stand up against the erosion of democracy lest the region return to the devastating conflicts from which it took so much effort and time to recover.

Niger Chapter Examines Countering Transnational Organized Crime

Community engagement   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 14, 2020

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies held a joint symposium with its Niger Community Chapter of the Africa Center, established in 2013, in January 2020 on Countering Transnational Organized Crime.

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.