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Africa’s Complex 2022 Elections: Restoring Democratic Processes

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 11, 2022

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.

Into Darkness? Scrutinizing Economic Explanations for African Jihad

Recommended research   published by Stig Jarle Hansen, Hudson Institute on October 27, 2021

Despite much speculation about the connection between Africa’s militant Islamist groups and organized crime, there is very little evidence of convergence between the two. Rather, connections tend to be limited to militant Islamist groups taxing criminals’ enterprises in exchange for safe passage. Even for those who may be more involved in the illicit economy, it’s important to understand why—are they doing it for profit only or for other purposes, such as to fund governance and/or public services for the communities they control. These distinctions have important implications for how best to tackle self-described militant Islamist groups.

Cries from the Community: Listening to the People of Cabo Delgado

Spotlight   published by Gregory Pirio, Robert Pittelli, and Yussuf Adam on August 30, 2021

Stabilizing northern Mozambique will involve more than defeating violent extremists. It will also require rebuilding trust with marginalized and traumatized local communities.

Drones and Violent Nonstate Actors in Africa

Spotlight   published by Karen Allen on August 6, 2021

The risk of militarization of drone technology in Africa represents a new asymmetric tool that violent nonstate groups may deploy to extend the reach of their coercion, reshaping the African battlefield.

Chad’s Ongoing Instability, the Legacy of Idriss Déby

Spotlight   published by Daniel Eizenga on May 3, 2021

Idriss Déby’s death is an outcome of the ongoing instability perpetuated by his regime. The subsequent military coup d’état led by the late president’s son risks deepening political violence in this geographically strategic country.

The Dismantling of Benin’s Democracy

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on April 27, 2021

President Patrice Talon’s manipulation of electoral rules and cooption of democratic processes have caused Benin to slide quickly from a multi-party democracy to a semi-authoritarian regime, portending heightened instability.

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.

British American Tobacco Fights Dirty In West Africa

Recommended research   published by Aisha Kehoe Down (OCCRP), CENOZO, Gaston Sawadogo (L'Evenement), and Tom Stocks (OCCRP) on February 26, 2021

Sahelian militant Islamist groups continue to profit from smuggling routes and complicity from unethical multinational corporations and compromised government officials. Following the mechanics of cigarette smuggling through the Sahel reveals how corruption becomes institutionalized and ends up benefiting the very actors the government is fighting. Depriving violent extremists in the Sahel of their profits from smuggling will require depriving corrupt government officials of theirs and holding them, as well as multinational corporations accountable.

Food Insecurity Crisis Mounting in Africa

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 16, 2021

Acute food insecurity in Africa has increased by over 60 percent in the past year and threatens to widen further as the effects of COVID-19 exacerbate other drivers such as conflict and political mismanagement.

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.