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Dr. Shannon Smith

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Professor of Practice and Director of Engagement. Areas of Expertise: East Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, peacekeeping, global health and development policy, U.S.-Africa policy, and the role of Congress in foreign relations.

Criminality in Africa’s Fishing Industry: A Threat to Human Security

Africa Security Brief No. 33   published by André Standing on June 6, 2017

Conflicts of interest within Africa's fisheries sector enable unsustainable exploitation by foreign fishing firms and undercut the political will needed to build more robust surveillance and prosecutorial capacity.

Archive: Africa’s Contemporary Security Challenges (pre-2017)

Program Materials  

December 2016 Video: Africa’s Contemporary Security Trends, Joseph Siegle Video: Democratic Transitions and Security in Africa, Dorina Bekoe Video: Resource Management and Conflict, Willene Johnson Video: Countering Violent Extremism in Africa, Angela Martin Video: Maritime Safety and Security in Africa, Assis Malaquias Video: Collective Approaches to Security, Dorina Bekoe Video: Climate Change in Africa, James... Continue Reading

Urban Fragility and Security in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 12   published by Stephen Commins on April 30, 2011

Estimates are that more than half of all Africans will live in cities by 2025. This rapid pace of urbanization is creating a new locus of fragility in many African states—as evidenced by the burgeoning slums around many of the continent’s urban areas—and the accompanying rise in violence, organized crime, and the potential for instability. These evolving threats, in turn, have profound implications for Africa’s security sector.

Additional Reading on Environment and Security

Recommended research   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 14, 2010

Climate Violence? By Clionadh Raleigh, Oxford Martin School, May 11, 2017 “Climate change causing conflict” arguments are not supported by the evidence. There is no evidence, for example, that pastoralist versus farmer conflicts in Africa are due to climate change. There is, however, much evidence that these conflicts are the result of government interference in... Continue Reading

U.S. Security Engagement in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 1   published by William M. Bellamy on September 15, 2009

A significant development in Africa over the past decade has been the generalized lessening of violent conflict. Revitalized, expanded international peacekeeping, bolstered by a newly launched African Union determination to tackle security challenges, has reinforced this trend. But, much more cohesive interagency coordination under strong White House direction is required if the United States is to contribute to Africa’s sustained stability given the region’s persistent conditions of poverty, inequality, and weak governance.

Seven Takeaways from Kenya’s Consequential Election

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on September 7, 2022

Despite shortcomings, Kenyans have set a new and higher electoral bar for themselves, their neighbors, and the rest of Africa—demonstrating how closely contested elections can be credibly resolved through sufficiently independent institutions.

Strengthening Sahelian Counterinsurgency Strategy

Africa Security Brief No. 41   published by Michael Shurkin on July 25, 2022

Adapting Sahelian force structures to lighter, more mobile, and integrated units will better support the population-centric COIN practices needed to reverse the escalating trajectory of violent extremist attacks.

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.