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Russia’s Strategic Goals in Africa

(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.

Nigeria’s Diverse Security Threats

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on March 30, 2021

Nigeria faces an array of security challenges beyond Boko Haram. Distinguishing these threats and understanding their socio-geographic contours is essential for adapting customized solutions.

The Erosion of Term Limits in Africa Reflects Worrying Trend

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on February 12, 2021

Africa saw a precipitous decline in the upholding of term limits in 2020. Of the 12 presidential elections held on the continent, five had incumbents facing term limits. Yet, in only one case, Niger’s President Mahmadou Issoufou, did the incumbent abide by this limit. Conversely, Faure Gnassingbé (Togo), Alpha Condé (Guinea), and Alassane Ouattara (Côte... Continue Reading

Taking Stock of Africa’s 2021 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 12, 2021

A wide spectrum of credibility marks the 13 African elections slated for 2021. This has direct implications for the legitimacy of the leaders that emerge and their ability to navigate the security challenges they face.

Safeguarding Democracy in West Africa

Spotlight   published by Alan Doss on September 29, 2020

West Africa must stand up against the erosion of democracy lest the region return to the devastating conflicts from which it took so much effort and time to recover.

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.

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.

What the Coronavirus Means for Africa

Spotlight   published by Shannon Smith on February 4, 2020

Given its fragile public health systems and close ties to China, Africa is vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus, highlighting the continent’s centrality to global health security.

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.