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Justice and Rule of Law Key to African Security

Spotlight   published by Catherine Lena Kelly on May 25, 2021

The integration of justice initiatives within conventional security efforts can mitigate conflict, improve societal resilience, and build a stronger culture supportive of the rule of law.

The Rule of Law and the Role of Customary Courts in Stabilizing South Sudan

Spotlight   published by Godfrey Musila on May 29, 2018

English | Français | العربية Rule of Law in a Weak State South Sudan’s descent into civil war in 2013, 2 years after independence, has devastated families, communities, and institutions—including judicial institutions. Already fragile following decades of war against Khartoum, state institutions had yet to penetrate throughout the territory, and many were still in the... Continue Reading

Presidential Term Limits Key to Democratic Progress and Security in Africa

Term limit norms in Africa have been deteriorating rapidly since 2015, reversing a positive trend over the previous two decades. This trend has important implications since longer presidential tenures are linked to increased corruption, reduced civil liberties, and higher rates of conflict. Even after term limit restrictions have been lifted, there is a pattern of... Continue Reading

Lessons from a Decade of South Sudanese Statehood

Spotlight   published by Luka Biong Deng Kuol on June 29, 2021

The catastrophic levels of instability that have engulfed South Sudan since 2013 demand a restructuring of governance and security institutions to alter the tragic trajectory of Africa’s youngest state.

Russia’s Strategic Goals 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 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.

The Erosion of Term Limits in Africa Reflects Worrying Trend

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on February 12, 2021

Africa saw a precipitous decline in the upholding of term limits in 2020. Of the 12 presidential elections held on the continent, five had incumbents facing term limits. Yet, in only one case, Niger’s President Mahmadou Issoufou, did the incumbent abide by this limit. Conversely, Faure Gnassingbé (Togo), Alpha Condé (Guinea), and Alassane Ouattara (Côte... Continue Reading

Power Shift in the DRC Cracks open a Door to Reform

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on January 22, 2021

A shift in the balance of power within the National Assembly enhances the influence of President Felix Tshisekedi and represents a step toward long-delayed democratic reforms.

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.

Professional Development for Countering Transnational Organized Crime

Program Materials  

A series of monthly academic webinars for alumni examining the political economy of the actors and markets involved in transnational organized crime (TOC) and analyzing how to strategically diagnose and respond to TOC in ways that strengthen citizen security for all and build resilience. The webinars will feature academic and practitioner experts, and Africa Center alumni are invited to attend, either for one or more sessions or the whole series of discussions.

Safeguarding Democracy in West Africa

Spotlight   published by Alan Doss on September 29, 2020

West Africa must stand up against the erosion of democracy lest the region return to the devastating conflicts from which it took so much effort and time to recover.