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Overlapping Effects of Autocracy and Conflict in Africa

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 15, 2016

These maps highlight the strong relationship between governance and conflict on the continent. Central, Northern, and the Horn of Africa exhibit the persistence of autocratic systems of governance. This overlaps closely, though not entirely, with the frequency and magnitude of conflict on the continent.

Islamist Extremism in East Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 32   published by Abdisaid M. Ali on August 9, 2016

Abdisaid M. Ali reviews the mainstreaming of Salafist ideology in East Africa and the polarizing impact of this more exclusivist interpretation of Islam.

Security on Obama’s Agenda for East Africa Trip

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 21, 2015

With President Obama traveling to Kenya and Ethiopia this week, the Africa Center’s Dr. Ben Nickels, Chair of Transnational Threats and Counterterrorism, reviews some of the key issues that merit watching. Question: What are the top security priorities that should be on the agenda during President Obama’s visit to Kenya and Ethiopia? NICKELS: The trip... Continue Reading

Building Moral Leadership a Priority for African Militaries

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on October 28, 2014

The failure of African leaders to address institutional shortcomings caused by their militaries’ colonial roots has contributed to confusion within many African militaries over their role and priorities. Moral leadership is essential for reversing this situation.

Assessing Drivers of Violent Conflict in Africa

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 23, 2014

Speaking at the start of a four-day seminar titled, “Africa’s Contemporary Security Challenges” hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. Paul Williams, an Associate Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Security Policy Studies Program at George Washington University delivered a far-reaching overview of key drivers of violent conflict in Africa. The... Continue Reading

Officials From Over 30 African Nations Gather for 16th Annual Senior Leaders Seminar in Washington

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on June 9, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — A high-level seminar for senior military and civilian leaders opened June 9, 2014 as the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) began its two-week flagship program, the Senior Leaders Seminar, at National Defense University in the U.S. capital. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Africa Center, which conducted its first... Continue Reading

Wildlife Poaching: Africa’s Surging Trafficking Threat

Africa Security Brief No. 28   published by Bradley Anderson and Johan Jooste on May 31, 2014

Surging demand for ivory and rhino horn, mainly in Asia, has put wild African elephants and rhinoceroses on the path to extinction. More than an environmental tragedy, however, wildlife poaching and trafficking has exacerbated other security threats and led to the co-option of certain African security units. African states need to develop a broad range of law enforcement capabilities to tackle what is effectively a transnational organized crime challenge. Asian and other international partners, meanwhile, must take action to reduce runaway demand for wildlife products.

A Review of Africa Center Research on Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on April 2, 2014

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

Africa Center Co-Hosts Countering Violent Extremist Messaging Workshop in Ethiopia

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on February 27, 2014

The U.S. government and African partners met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a dialogue on strategic approaches to countering violent extremist messaging in the greater Horn of Africa region. The Feb. 23–28 workshop was co-hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies and attended by approximately 60 professionals. The communication abilities of extremist groups were... Continue Reading

Islamic Militancy in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 23   published by Terje Østebø on November 30, 2012

The rise in Islamic militancy in the Sahel, northern Nigeria, and the Horn of Africa has elevated attention to this evolving security concern. Hopes that Africa’s historically moderate interpretations of Islam would suffice to filter extremist views from gaining meaningful traction seem increasingly misplaced. More generally, understanding of this unconventional security challenge is often based more on speculation than informed assessment. Responses must avoid conflating distinct Islamist actors while addressing local level perceptions of disaffection and under-representation that underpin support for militants.