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Circumvention of Term Limits Weakens Governance in Africa

Infographic   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on September 14, 2020

A growing pattern of evading term limits in Africa carries far-reaching consequences for the continent’s governance, security, and development.

Mapping Risk Factors for the Spread of COVID-19 in Africa

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 3, 2020

African countries face varying levels of risk that will require adapting a diversified set of response strategies to the coronavirus. The most vulnerable countries may not be those with the earliest onset.

COVID-19 and Africa’s Displacement Crisis

Spotlight   published by Wendy Williams on March 25, 2020

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.

What the Coronavirus Means for Africa

Spotlight   published by Shannon Smith on February 4, 2020

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.

Assessing Africa’s 2020 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 28, 2020

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.

Dr. Catherine Lena Kelly

Bio page
Assistant Professor of Justice and Rule of Law. Areas of Expertise: Rule of Law, Democratization and Governance, Stabilization of Fragile States, Preventing Violent Extremism, Program Design, Monitoring and Evaluation, West and Central Africa.

Securing Legitimate Stability in CAR: External Assumptions and Local Perspectives

Recommended research   published by Tim Glawion, Jair van der Lijn, and Nikki de Zwaan, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, September 2019. on September 30, 2019

Researchers interviewed MINUSCA officials and more than 200 residents of four areas of the Central African Republic. Each locality provided a snapshot of residents’ impressions of the UN mission, the role of the state in providing security, the legitimacy of rebel groups and militias, and a lasting solution for peace. Respondents from unstable areas where UN peacekeepers are present wish to see MINUSCA exit and allow state armed forces to provide security. The vast majority of interviewees condemned the rebels—as well as anti-balaka forces—who they cite as the source of local instability. Little alignment exists between the framework of the Khartoum Agreement and citizens’ desires.

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

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.