Africa hosts a disproportionate level of conflict compared to other regions in the world. Since 2011, there has been an upsurge in fatalities attributed to violent Islamist extremism, mostly as a result of Boko Haram. Nonetheless, other types of political violence are still responsible for more incidents and higher levels of casualties than Islamist extremist violence in Africa. These conflicts often result from high youth unemployment and lack of political inclusion. Thus, while countering violent extremism should remain a security priority, governments must also put adequate effort toward improving accountability and capability to provide inclusive security and economic opportunity for citizens.
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The classic approach to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) is faltering in an environment that now includes violent extremism and transnational mercenaries. Countering violent extremism and de-radicalization must be integrated within DDR. As has been seen by the number of well-educated and middle-income recruits to violent extremist organizations, DDR must refocus its goal from socioeconomic reintegration to social cohesion as a precondition to sustainably reintegrate former fighters.
Part 1: Identity Part 2: Faultlines Part 3: Extremism Part 4: Boko Haram Part 5: Strategies for combating extremism Part 6: Military professionalism Part 7: Maritime security Part 8: Governance The date was June 11, 2009. Nearly 20 unarmed Boko Haram motorcyclists were fatally shot by police for refusing to wear safety helmets. The episode... Continue Reading
The ideological appeal of violent Islamist insurgencies in Nigeria predates Boko Haram. Without addressing the region’s grievances, extremism will live on.
As the terrorist threat continues to evolve in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, the Africa Center through its various programs continues to bring together African, American and European civilian and military professionals to discuss its dimensions and possible solutions. Countering violent extremism On February 24–27, 2014, the Africa Center convened African Union (AU), United States... Continue Reading
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that when the concept of security and the security providing groups are broad enough to include gender perspectives, communities are more secure. The program addresses the changing nature of violent extremist tactics and strategies, practical implications, and benefits of adopting a gender perspective to counter violent extremism.
This program examines best practices for countering violent extremism leading to the production of a handbook for African security practitioners, derived from insights and recommendations generated from the Africa Center CVE series and from other sources.
The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has pursued breadth rather than depth of engagement in its rapid rise along the Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso borders.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2019 program, “National Security Strategy Development Workshop: Central and Southern Africa.” Click here for syllabus, readings, and presentation slides.
The Africa Center mourns the passing of General Lamine Cissé, a champion for peace and security in Africa, capable military institutions, and ethical leadership. Tributes for General Lamine Cissé have been pouring in from around the world following his death on April 19 in Dakar at the age of 80 years. “He was a man... Continue Reading
The struggle to institutionalize legitimate and resilient democracies in Africa will be further shaped by the 2019 elections – with direct consequences for security.
Assistant Research Fellow
Areas of Expertise: Peace operations, stability operations, security sector reform, UN sanctions, UN expert panels, countering violent extremism, counterterrorism, West Africa, Central Africa, and the Sahel Africa.