To be more meaningful to the lives of citizens and to better realize the vision of its founders, the African Union will need to empower its technical, legislative, and judicial institutions.
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Extremist group violence against civilians is driven by context-specific factors—outgroup grievances, intimidation to control territory, and a response to heavy-handed security responses—that require enhanced community-level mitigation and military professionalism.
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.
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.
Authoritarian leaning governments find solace in emigration. It not only acts as a pressure valve releasing likely instigators of political contestation, but it also improves a country’s e economic wellbeing thanks to remittances. But authoritarian leaning governments should be forewarned about relying on emigration as an alternative to addressing grievances. Over the long term, as larger flows of emigrants make their way to democracies, their experiences lead to new social norms and subsequently to nonviolent social movements back home, which can prove fatal to authoritarian leadership.
China-Africa relations thrive on interpersonal ties of mutual dependence, obligations, and reciprocity that African elites tend to skew to their benefit at the expense of the public interest.
Sudan’s democratic transition is under duress as the military seeks validation for its hold on power via the reinstatement of a figurehead civilian prime minister.
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.
Community-based security groups are emerging in African cities in response to rising crime and overstretched police forces. Experience from Abidjan shows that collaboration with the police, avoiding coercive tactics, and retaining citizen oversight councils are key to the effectiveness of these groups.
Ruling party militias in Africa are an increasingly employed tool to intimidate political rivals and keep populations in check—violating democratic rights and undercutting military professionalism.
Russia’s strategic objective of degrading the model of democratic governance in Africa is frequently effected through the cooption of isolated African leaders.
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.