The spread of the coronavirus in Africa is intersecting with the continent’s population displacement crisis. Protecting displaced persons and migrants will be key to reducing the overall rates of transmission.
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The growing sophistication of Russia’s disinformation campaigns in Africa demand greater vigilance from tech companies, internet watchdog groups, and governments.
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.
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.
Militant Islamist groups in Africa set a record pace of activity in 2019, reflecting a doubling of militant Islamist activity from 2013. Expanded activity in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin underscores diversification of threat from Somalia.
A surge of attacks in the Sahel coupled with declines in activity by Boko Haram, ISIS, and al Shabaab reflect the constantly shifting threats posed by militant Islamist groups 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.
The African Union will need to overcome a lack of political will and address structural challenges if it is to be effective in responding to security crises on the continent, consistent with its founding mission.
Transforming the protests into genuine democratic change in Sudan will require maintaining an organized reform coalition and reaching an understanding with military leaders.
China's Belt and Road Initiative forges intertwining economic, political, and security ties between Africa and China, advancing Beijing’s geopolitical interests.
Ethiopia’s decision to build the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011 triggered a three-way dispute between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan that remains unresolved. Settling the dispute before the dam comes online is critical for mitigating the risk for future conflict. Nile basin countries can take a number of trust-building measures to reduce mutual suspicion. In the short term, the three countries should reach an agreement on how quickly Ethiopia will fill the dam’s reservoir. In the long-term, negotiating a comprehensive transboundary resource management agreement could provide a lasting framework for resource sharing.
Africa's rapidly evolving maritime security environment has prompted innovations in Africa's maritime security architecture, leading to greater regional coordination.