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Circumvention of Term Limits Weakens Governance in Africa

Infographic   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on September 14, 2020

A growing pattern of evading term limits in Africa carries far-reaching consequences for the continent’s governance, security, and development.

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.

Angola’s New President: Reforming to Survive

Recommended research   published by Paula Cristina Roque, Institute for Security Studies on May 7, 2020

President Lourenço’s efforts to reform Angola have focused on fighting corruption and entrenched patronage networks after 37 years of rule of President Dos Santos. But campaigns to improve accountability and legitimacy of the state’s institutions have been unevenly implemented. The new President has succeeded in improving freedom of the press and in removing the former president’s inner circle, including his children, from their influential positions. But his moves to reform the security sector have been met with criticism and fear that they risk consolidating the ruling party’s control and reversing the progress made in integrating the former fighting factions into a unified, effective, force.

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.

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.

From the Maskani to the Mayor: The Political Economy of Heroin Markets in East and Southern Africa

Recommended research   published by Simone Haysom, ENACT on February 13, 2020

Urbanization and governance shape the political economy of heroin trafficking in Southern and East Africa. Case studies of heroin trafficking dynamics in capital cities, port towns, interior hubs, and border communities suggest that counter-trafficking efforts should strengthen cross-border intelligence sharing, combat government corruption, consider local communities, address the role of informal transport systems in the narcotics trade, and mitigate the drug trade’s role in fueling violence.

Assessing Africa’s 2020 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 28, 2020

African elections in 2020 will be a test against efforts to erode presidential term limits and other democratic checks and balances, with direct consequences for stability on the continent.

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.

The Taking of South Sudan: The Tycoons, Brokers, and Multinational Corporations Complicit in Hijacking the World’s Newest State

Recommended research   published by The Sentry on September 30, 2019

Vast corruption networks corruption operate in South Sudan, from Chinese-led oil conglomerates and American arms dealers to profiteering British businessmen and high-level government officials implicated in pillaging the country’s natural resources and perpetuating conflict. Several cases of corruption show how regional and international financial institutions, foreign companies, and corrupt individuals facilitate and reinforce policies that deprive citizens of their fair share of the nation’s wealth.

Tunisia Crying out for Change

Spotlight   published by Anouar Boukhars on September 27, 2019

The electoral victory by political outsider, Kais Saied, in Tunisia's run-off election reflects both the growing independence of Tunisia's democratic institutions and the pent-up public demands for improved service delivery and redressing social inequities.

Burundi, the Forgotten Crisis, Still Burns

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on September 24, 2019

Although Nkurunziza has suppressed external reporting on Burundi, the country’s 4-year-old political and humanitarian crisis shows no signs of abating.