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From the Maskani to the Mayor: The Political Economy of Heroin Markets in East and Southern Africa

Recommended research   published by Simone Haysom, ENACT on February 13, 2020

Urbanization and governance shape the political economy of heroin trafficking in Southern and East Africa. Case studies of heroin trafficking dynamics in capital cities, port towns, interior hubs, and border communities suggest that counter-trafficking efforts should strengthen cross-border intelligence sharing, combat government corruption, consider local communities, address the role of informal transport systems in the narcotics trade, and mitigate the drug trade’s role in fueling violence.

Players of Many Parts: The Evolving Role of Smugglers in West Africa’s Migration Economy

Recommended research   published by Ekaterina Golovko, Mixed Migration Center on June 30, 2019

Based on interviews with over 100 smugglers and 3,000 migrants, patterns of migrant smuggling in Mali and Niger emerge. In Niger, prior to the 2015 anti-smuggling law, smuggling networks were easy to join and fluidly linked, not always adhering to a fixed, hierarchical mode of criminal operations. Since then however, more professionalized criminal networks have consolidated market control. Most migrants reported initiating their travel without the encouragement of smugglers, but subsequently used smuggler facilitation services.

The Heroin Coast: A Political Economy Along the Eastern African Seaboard

Recommended research   published by Simone Haysom, Peter Gastrow and Mark Shaw, ENACT on June 30, 2018

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.

Dr. Joel Amegboh

Bio page
Research Fellow
. Areas of Expertise: Civil-Military Relations, Countering Violent Extremism, Democratization, Sahel.

Emerging Security Sector Leaders Seminar

Program Materials  

A two-week program held in June 2022 for mid-level African security sector professionals who are emerging leaders within their fields. With an emphasis on peer-to-peer exchanges, this seminar embodies the Africa Center’s mission to advance African security by expanding understanding, providing a trusted platform for dialogue, building enduring partnerships, and catalyzing strategic solutions.

Assessing Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) Coalition in the Sahel

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

Whose Crime Is It Anyway? Organized Crime and International Stabilization Efforts in Mali

Recommended research   published by Peter Tinti, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime on February 1, 2022

Most illicit markets in Mali are, in fact, part of an informal economy run by communities seeking economic opportunities in a highly insecure environment. Nevertheless, stabilization efforts mistakenly view them as linked to organized crime or terrorist activities. Militarized responses have added to, not mitigated, instability in the region. Interventions should better support Malian communities and help them mitigate the negative impact of criminal agendas.

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.

Deluge of Digital Repression Threatens African Security

Spotlight   published by Nathaniel Allen and Catherine Lena Kelly on January 4, 2022

African governments are using the pretext of security to restrict digital communications and citizens’ rights. In the process, they are inadvertently contributing to economic losses and greater instability.

Why Al-Shabaab Persists in Somalia Webinar

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

Making Arms Embargoes in Africa More Effective

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on November 22, 2021

Arms embargoes can be effective but require regional and international buy-in, adequate monitoring, and the imposition of sufficient costs on actors who evade the sanctions.