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A Message for the US-African Leaders’ Summit: Do Not Forget the Youth

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on August 4, 2014

The youth bulge, combined with high levels of unemployment, corruption, inequity, and disaffection with government represent an expanding recruitment pool for a wide range of extremist groups, urban gangs and other destabilizing actors. Yet, if channeled toward productive outlets such as trade schools, entrepreneurship, community leadership and reform campaigns, African youth can be a dynamic... Continue Reading

Advancing Military Professionalism in Africa

Africa Center Research Paper No. 6   published by Emile Ouédraogo on July 31, 2014

Clarifying mission, oversight and the relationship between soldiers and citizens can advance the professionalism eluding many African security services.

Wildlife Poaching: Africa’s Surging Trafficking Threat

Africa Security Brief No. 28   published by Bradley Anderson and Johan Jooste on May 31, 2014

Surging demand for ivory and rhino horn, mainly in Asia, has put wild African elephants and rhinoceroses on the path to extinction. More than an environmental tragedy, however, wildlife poaching and trafficking has exacerbated other security threats and led to the co-option of certain African security units. African states need to develop a broad range of law enforcement capabilities to tackle what is effectively a transnational organized crime challenge. Asian and other international partners, meanwhile, must take action to reduce runaway demand for wildlife products.

Overcoming Africa’s Democratic Setbacks

This article originally appeared at thebrenthurstfoundation.org. Mali’s rapid descent into instability from what seemed a promising democratic trajectory has been the cover story of African politics since a military coup there disrupted constitutional rule in early 2012. Soon thereafter, the northern half of the country fell under the control of Islamic militants. The seemingly abrupt... Continue Reading

Boko Haram Reveals Complex Divisions within Nigeria, Scholars Say at Africa Center Roundtable

Spotlight   published by Serge Yondou on December 18, 2013

The multifaceted nature of militant groups in northern Nigeria such as Boko Haram, as well as a lack of clear understanding of the factors that drive regional extremism, reflects larger aspects of Nigeria’s struggle for unity, a panel of scholars told the audience at a roundtable organized by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on... Continue Reading

Ask the Expert: Kate Almquist Knopf on South Sudan

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on October 9, 2013

Kate Almquist-Knopf, then-adjunct professor (now Director) of the Africa Center, provides an overview of South Sudan’s struggle to establish a government that enjoys popular legitimacy and is accountable to its citizens.

Mitigating Radicalism in Northern Nigeria

Africa Security Brief No. 26   published by Michael Olufemi Sodipo on August 31, 2013

Mitigating radicalism, in northern Nigeria as elsewhere, requires a sustained approach targeting every stage of the radicalization spectrum.

Peace Operations in Africa: Lessons Learned Since 2000

Africa Security Brief No. 25   published by Paul D. Williams on July 31, 2013

The achievements and shortcomings of peacekeeping operations offer vital lessons for optimizing this increasingly central but still evolving tool.

Unfinished Business: A Framework for Peace in the Great Lakes

Africa Security Brief No. 21   published by Rigobert Minani Bihuzo on July 31, 2012

Despite numerous peace agreements, Africa’s Great Lakes region has been in a persistent state of conflict for the past two decades. The contributions and shortcomings of some of the most significant previous peace initiatives, however, offer vital lessons as to how to mitigate the local level tensions, national political dynamics, and competing regional interests that have led to recurring outbreaks of violence.

Boko Haram’s Evolving Threat

Africa Security Brief No. 20   published by J. Peter Pham on April 30, 2012

Support for Boko Haram among some of northern Nigeria’s marginalized Muslim communities suggests that security actions alone will be insufficient to quell the instability.