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Africa’s Contemporary Security Challenges

Program Materials  

September 10-12, 2019 Washington, D.C. Syllabus | Program Schedule Overview of the Africa Center Presented by: Dr. Raymond Gilpin (slides) Required Reading: Website: www.africacenter.org Plenary 1: Conflict Trends in Africa Presented by: Dr. Paul D. Williams (slides) Dr. Catherine Lena Kelly (slides | video) Recommended readings: Ingrid Vik Bakken and Siri Aas Rustad, “Conflict Trends in Africa,... Continue Reading

International Anti-Impunity Missions in Guatemala and Honduras: What Lessons for El Salvador?

Recommended research   published by Charles T Call, CLALS Working Paper Series on June 30, 2019

African countries are among the world’s most vulnerable to and least prepared for climate change. African citizens prioritize issues that are related to climate change, such as water supply, food shortages, and agriculture. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have devastated African countries that depend on agriculture. Only about 3 in 10 Africans are fully “climate change literate,” combining awareness of climate change with basic knowledge about its causes and negative effects. Building climate resilience will require commitment and coordination, backed by significant resources and a population that supports prioritizing it.

Recommended US Response to Russian Activities 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.

Despots and Disruptions: Five Dimensions of Internet Shutdowns in Africa

Recommended research   published by Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) on March 18, 2019

African governments increasingly use internet disruptions as a tool to prevent information sharing and popular mobilization during elections or periods of conflict. In the first three weeks of 2019 alone, the governments of Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Sudan, and Zimbabwe blocked citizens’ access to the internet and social media. Over the last three years, governments in Africa that are less democratic or have been in power for the longest are more likely to order internet disruptions. All the African countries that have disrupted internet access in 2019 are authoritarian. Internet blackouts threaten election freedom and human rights and cause serious economic disruptions.

Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Falling Short of Credible

Spotlight   published by Alix Boucher on December 14, 2018

The DRC's general elections originally scheduled for December 23, two years overdue, face serious credibility challenges. The repercussions of a faulty vote could further dampen the prospects for improved security and stability in the region and erode democratic norms across the continent.

Grand Strategy and China’s Soft Power Push in Africa

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on August 30, 2018

China is doubling down on its soft power initiatives in Africa as part of China's Grand Strategy to tap emerging markets, shape global governance norms, and expand its influence.

Taming the Dominant Gun Class in South Sudan

Spotlight   published by Majak D’Agoôt on May 29, 2018

A “gun class”—the fusion of security leaders with political power, class, and ethnicity—is at the heart of the predatory governance system that has taken root in South Sudan. Changing this trajectory will require redefining the roles of political and security actors.

The Emergence of Violent Extremism in Northern Mozambique

Spotlight   published by Gregory Pirio, Robert Pittelli, and Yussuf Adam on March 25, 2018

The emergence of a new militant Islamist group in northern Mozambique raises a host of concerns over the influence of international jihadist ideology, social and economic marginalization of local Muslim communities, and a heavy-handed security response.

Africa’s Most Challenging Elections in 2018

Spotlight   published by Dorina Bekoe on February 16, 2018

Twenty countries in Africa will hold national elections in 2018. This analysis reviews countries facing unique challenges to holding peaceful elections on the continent.