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African Parliamentarians Forum 2022: Pathways to Democratic Security Governance

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program for African parliamentarians and their staff to analyze current trends, challenges, and innovations in the work of legislatures to foster democratic and civilian control of security sectors across the continent. Tools and techniques to bolster parliamentary oversight, accountability, and outreach efforts on defense and security are discussed throughout.

Africa’s Complex 2022 Elections: Restoring Democratic Processes

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 11, 2022

Responding to the coups, conflicts, and other derailments of democratic processes in recent years, Africa’s 2022 elections are, in large part, an effort to right the democratic ship of state on the continent.

Deluge of Digital Repression Threatens African Security

Spotlight   published by Nathaniel Allen and Catherine Lena Kelly on January 4, 2022

African governments are using the pretext of security to restrict digital communications and citizens’ rights. In the process, they are inadvertently contributing to economic losses and greater instability.

Africa’s Coups and the Role of External Actors

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on December 17, 2021

The recent rise in coups in Africa reflects a waning regional and international willingness to enforce anti-coup norms. Reversing the trend requires incentivizing democracy and consistently imposing real costs on coup makers.

Criminal Gangs Destabilizing Nigeria’s North West

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on December 14, 2021

Escalating attacks on communities in North West Nigeria by criminal gangs, including mass kidnappings of school children, exploit the limited security sector presence in the region.

Making Arms Embargoes in Africa More Effective

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on November 22, 2021

Arms embargoes can be effective but require regional and international buy-in, adequate monitoring, and the imposition of sufficient costs on actors who evade the sanctions.

Presidential Term Limits Key to Democratic Progress and Security in Africa

Term limit norms in Africa have been deteriorating rapidly since 2015, reversing a positive trend over the previous two decades. This trend has important implications since longer presidential tenures are linked to increased corruption, reduced civil liberties, and higher rates of conflict. Even after term limit restrictions have been lifted, there is a pattern of incumbents manipulating electoral outcomes to stay in power. This reflects the declining popularity of these leaders and points to the self-interested motivations for their extended tenures vis-à-vis broader service to the public. It further highlights that the evasion of term limits does not happen in isolation but is part of a broader pattern of undermining the rule of law and weakening democratic institutions. Failure to reverse the downturn in respect for term limits risks bringing Africa back to an era of de facto “presidents for life” and one-party states.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation at 21: Where to Next?

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on September 3, 2021

African countries can negotiate a more equitable role in FOCAC, but this requires a more strategically focused approach, better coordination, and greater accountability to their citizens.

Cries from the Community: Listening to the People of Cabo Delgado

Spotlight   published by Gregory Pirio, Robert Pittelli, and Yussuf Adam on August 30, 2021

Stabilizing northern Mozambique will involve more than defeating violent extremists. It will also require rebuilding trust with marginalized and traumatized local communities.