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The Illicit Superhighway: Transnational Organized Crime in Africa

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 22, 2017

The distinction between legitimate and illicit business in Africa is fluid due to the significant size of informal trade on the continent. At the same time, globalization has allowed organized criminal groups to link up with international networks, including violent extremists.

Africa’s Pastoralists: A New Battleground for Terrorism

Spotlight   published by Kaley Fulton and Benjamin P. Nickels on January 11, 2017

Islamist terrorist groups in the Sahel and Sahara are attempting to exploit pastoralist grievances to mobilize greater support for their agenda, write Kaley Fulton and Benjamin Nickels.

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.