Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Africa Center for Strategic Studies The Africa Center for Strategic Studies serves as a forum for research, academic programs, and the exchange of ideas with the aim of enhancing citizen security by strengthening the effectiveness and accountability of African institutions.
(24)

Operating as usual

Many are understandably ready to turn the page on the pandemic, but experts are warning that its deadliest phase may be ...
05/29/2021

Many are understandably ready to turn the page on the pandemic, but experts are warning that its deadliest phase may be on the horizon for countries that do not yet have widespread vaccinations. Their analysis is based on examining the devastation caused by a highly transmissible COVID variant in India, which has now spread to African and Asian countries that had been scaling back vigilance against the virus.

This looming threat underscores the urgent need to dispel vaccine myths and for African countries to learn from India's missteps. We provide information and insights on both of these fronts in our latest COVID-19 Spotlights:
https://africacenter.org/spotlight/lessons-for-africa-from-indias-deadly-covid-surge/

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/dispelling-covid-vaccine-myths-in-africa/

The ongoing instability in Mali is a reminder that instability is a natural consequence of unconstitutional changes of p...
05/27/2021
The Legacy of Military Governance in Mali – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

The ongoing instability in Mali is a reminder that instability is a natural consequence of unconstitutional changes of power—and that military governments have a poor track record in Mali.

A military coup on August 18 led by Colonel Assimi Goïta has again pulled Mali into the orbit of military rule. This builds on a long legacy. Mali has had four coups since independence in 1960. A military government or a former military leader has served as head of state for 35 of its 60... Continu...

Across Africa, growing youth movements are increasingly active in politics, and dissatisfied with the status quo A gover...
05/26/2021
Justice and Rule of Law Key to African Security – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Across Africa, growing youth movements are increasingly active in politics, and dissatisfied with the status quo A government that manages significant improvements to the provision of justice could win support from this huge element of the population.

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.

COVID was not created by your government to hold onto power. Vaccines are not dangerous. COVID *is* dangerous. Vaccines ...
05/24/2021
Dispelling COVID Vaccine Myths in Africa – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

COVID was not created by your government to hold onto power. Vaccines are not dangerous. COVID *is* dangerous. Vaccines work; tonics and other purported cures don't.

Go deeper:

A preponderance of COVID vaccine myths is causing many Africans to forego vaccinations at a time when new, more transmissible coronavirus variants are spreading across the continent.

Do you know the three types of COVID-19 vaccines?Click to learn about each type, so you can explain why COVID vaccines a...
05/22/2021
Dispelling COVID Vaccine Myths in Africa – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Do you know the three types of COVID-19 vaccines?

Click to learn about each type, so you can explain why COVID vaccines are not dangerous.

Help debunk this and other myths with our latest Spotlight:

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/dispelling-covid-vaccine-myths-in-africa/

A preponderance of COVID vaccine myths is causing many Africans to forego vaccinations at a time when new, more transmissible coronavirus variants are spreading across the continent.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria is facing “a state of emergency” as a result of ongoing insecurity....
05/21/2021

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria is facing “a state of emergency” as a result of ongoing insecurity. While Boko Haram gets most of the headlines, there are 6 separate security threats facing Nigeria. We've mapped them all out.

Unfortunately, the one that threatens the largest portion of the country is violence against civilians by the security sector.

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/nigeria-diverse-security-threats/

The decision of some international actors to recognize the military coup of Idriss Déby's son is a lost opportunity to r...
05/20/2021
Chad’s Ongoing Instability, the Legacy of Idriss Déby – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

The decision of some international actors to recognize the military coup of Idriss Déby's son is a lost opportunity to restore rule of law in Chad, and improve stability in the region.

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/chads-ongoing-instability-the-legacy-of-idriss-deby/

Idriss Déby’s death is an outcome of the instability perpetuated by his regime. The subsequent coup led by his son risks deepening violence.

"Twitter and Facebook function as formidable — and one-sided — global megaphones for China’s ruling Communist Party, hel...
05/18/2021
Army of fake fans boosts China’s messaging on Twitter – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

"Twitter and Facebook function as formidable — and one-sided — global megaphones for China’s ruling Communist Party, helping to amplify messaging broadly set by central authorities.

... Xi has reconfigured China’s internet governance, tightening controls, and bound Chinese media ever more tightly to the party, to ensure, as he said in a 2016 speech, that the media loves, protects and serves the party."

Our latest must-read security article comes from the Associated Press and documents the sophisticated means by which China uses diplomats, including its ambassadors in African countries, and thousands of inauthentic accounts to amplify its official messages abroad on Facebook and Twitter—sites that are blocked within China.

https://africacenter.org/security-article/army-of-fake-fans-boosts-chinas-messaging-on-twitter/

Chinese officials around the world use Twitter and Facebook, which are blocked in China, to post about their country’s initiatives and defend it against controversy.

On trouve peu d’exemples qui se démarquent plus clairement que le Tchad du mythe de l’homme fort en tant que force stabi...
05/14/2021
L’instabilité persistante au Tchad, l’héritage d’Idriss Déby – Centre d’Études Stratégiques de l’Afrique

On trouve peu d’exemples qui se démarquent plus clairement que le Tchad du mythe de l’homme fort en tant que force stabilisatrice.

La stabilité interne du Tchad dépend de la création d’un processus politique plus inclusif et soumis à des règles.

https://africacenter.org/fr/spotlight/linstabilite-persistante-au-tchad-lheritage-didriss-deby/

La mort d’Idriss Déby est un aboutissement de l’instabilité persistante perpétuée par son régime. Le coup d’État qui a ensuite été mené par le fils du président défunt risque d’envenimer la violence politique dans ce pays géographiquement stratégique.

The surge of militant Islamist group violence in the Sahel has alarmed communities and governments across the region. Gr...
05/13/2021
The Puzzle of JNIM and Militant Islamist Groups in the Sahel – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

The surge of militant Islamist group violence in the Sahel has alarmed communities and governments across the region. Groups aligned with JNIM, primarily FLM and Ansar Dine, are linked to the bulk of this violence.

Security actors, political leaders, and journalists alike need to resist buying into the image of JNIM as a single entity. Deconstructing "JNIM" into its component parts is necessary to countering each group's individual tactics.

https://africacenter.org/publication/puzzle-jnim-militant-islamist-groups-sahel/

The JNIM coalition serves to obscure the operations of its components in the Sahel, inhibiting a more robust response.

Yoweri Museveni has been sworn in for a 6th term as president of Uganda, and received official congratulations from some...
05/12/2021
Untangling Post-Election Uganda – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Yoweri Museveni has been sworn in for a 6th term as president of Uganda, and received official congratulations from some world leaders.

But his win is widely seen as implausible—for many reasons, not least his party's lopsided losses in Parliament:

The ruling party's sharp losses reveal a shifting political landscape in Uganda, reflecting the will of a younger, more energized electorate.

Three quarters of African countries facing armed conflict have either autocratic or semi-authoritarian govts, and armed ...
05/11/2021
Autocracy and Instability in Africa – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Three quarters of African countries facing armed conflict have either autocratic or semi-authoritarian govts, and armed conflicts in authoritarian-leaning countries have been ongoing for roughly twice as long as those in democratizing countries.

The lack of legitimacy and accountability are at the root of many of Africa’s armed conflicts, reflecting an inability of these political systems to accommodate participation, contestation, and power-sharing.

Two of our recent Infographics examine food insecurity and climate change in Africa. Madagascar's ongoing humanitarian c...
05/10/2021

Two of our recent Infographics examine food insecurity and climate change in Africa. Madagascar's ongoing humanitarian crisis shows how these two issues can be intertwined. Nearly a million people in southern Madagascar are facing starvation, a region suffering from its worst drought in years, made even worse by violent sandstorms (called tiomena) that are hitting the island more frequently.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/may/10/at-least-1m-people-facing-starvation-madagascar-drought-worsens

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/climate-change-amplifies-instability-in-africa/

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/food-insecurity-crisis-mounting-africa/

The undermining of democratic governance and accountability in African countries has not only sparked instability and vi...
05/06/2021
African Youth Engaging in Peace and Security – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

The undermining of democratic governance and accountability in African countries has not only sparked instability and violence, but it has thwarted the interests of a majority of those nations' citizens—including youth.

But most African youth have not chosen the path of violence. Most of the continent's recent record number of peaceful protests have been driven by youth.

Peter Biar Ajak looks at how youth can—and already do—meaningfully and constructively engage in their countries, pushing for reforms to seek peace, security, and better governance for all Africans, facilitated by institutions held accountable to their citizens.

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/african-youth-engaging-in-peace-and-security/

Despite many challenges, African youth are finding constructive avenues to promote peace, effective governance, and reform.

Chad is not a stable country. It wasn't stable under Idriss Déby because autocracies are inherently unstable. And given ...
05/04/2021
Chad’s Ongoing Instability, the Legacy of Idriss Déby – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Chad is not a stable country. It wasn't stable under Idriss Déby because autocracies are inherently unstable. And given the profoundly bad governance track record that military governments have, there is no reason to expect positive results from the military coup led by his son to take power in violation of the country's constitution.

And yet, despite Chad’s highly constrained political space, a framework for political dialogue does exist and could be expanded to include more actors—if the ruling party were interested in engaging the opposition through dialogue rather than force.

Idriss Déby’s death is an outcome of the instability perpetuated by his regime. The subsequent coup led by his son risks deepening violence.

In South Sudan, young people are using sports to build peace and trust among warring tribes.In Kenya, a policy research ...
05/03/2021

In South Sudan, young people are using sports to build peace and trust among warring tribes.

In Kenya, a policy research organization is empowering youth to participate in government at the local level.

A DRC initiative involves musicians, poets, and artists to creatively express themselves, providing the basis for discourse.

In Nigeria, young people are promoting peace through cultural exchanges and interfaith events.

Learn more about how young Africans are promoting peace, security, and good governance, with or without their governments' help:

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/african-youth-engaging-in-peace-and-security/

African youth are engaged in a variety of exciting initiatives aimed at resolving conflicts and building greater social ...
05/01/2021
African Youth Engaging in Peace and Security – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

African youth are engaged in a variety of exciting initiatives aimed at resolving conflicts and building greater social cohesion. These efforts are harnessing their talent and creativity to encourage dialogue and facilitate healing and reconciliation.

Learn about some of them in our latest Spotlight:

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/african-youth-engaging-in-peace-and-security/

Despite many challenges, African youth are finding constructive avenues to promote peace, effective governance, and reform.

Young Africans are frustrated and restless in the face of unemployment and governments run by an older generation of pol...
04/29/2021
African Youth Engaging in Peace and Security – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Young Africans are frustrated and restless in the face of unemployment and governments run by an older generation of political actors who wield power through the politics of exclusion.

Learn how young men and women across the continent are taking the initiative to promote peace, security, and good governance:

https://africacenter.org/spotlight/african-youth-engaging-in-peace-and-security/

Despite many challenges, African youth are finding constructive avenues to promote peace, effective governance, and reform.

Sudan's transition toward a democratic, civilian-led government presents a historic opportunity to put the country on th...
04/29/2021
Reimagining the Security Sector in Sudan – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Sudan's transition toward a democratic, civilian-led government presents a historic opportunity to put the country on the path of stability and peace.

Our ongoing webinar series shares evidence-based insights and experiences and analyzes their implications for Sudan during its transition.

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies and the US Institute of Peace (USIP) will convene an academic webinar series that explores the lessons learned of the roles of the security sector and national security strategy development during times of transition from military to civilian rule. The webinar...

Dismantling Democracy, Benin Edition:Step 1: Appoint allies to electoral commission.Step 2: Commission declares strict c...
04/28/2021
The Dismantling of Benin’s Democracy – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Dismantling Democracy, Benin Edition:

Step 1: Appoint allies to electoral commission.
Step 2: Commission declares strict candidacy requirements right before legislative elections, allowing only allies to win.
Step 3: Legislature rubber-stamps new powers for ruling party, allowing it to veto candidates for president.
Step 4: Stave off legal challenges by appointing your personal lawyer to lead the Constitutional Court.
Step 5: Use court designed to prosecute terrorism and economic crimes as a weapon against dissenters.
Step 6: Run for president with no real opposition.

Read more about Patrice Talon's careful maneuvers to drag Benin toward autocracy in our latest Spotlight.

President Patrice Talon’s cooption of democratic processes have caused Benin to slide from multi-party democracy to semi-authoritarianism.

Responding to a pandemic is a marathon that will take unexpected turns. The Spanish Flu pandemic lasted for 2 years, and...
04/26/2021

Responding to a pandemic is a marathon that will take unexpected turns. The Spanish Flu pandemic lasted for 2 years, and was marked by three different waves, a mutation of the virus, and differing transmission trajectories for each wave.

National leaders and public health officials, therefore, need to be prepared for a long challenge and develop a strategy for a protracted response that will likely need to be adapted over time.

Responding to a pandemic is a marathon that will take unexpected turns. The Spanish Flu pandemic lasted for 2 years, and was marked by three different waves, a mutation of the virus, and differing transmission trajectories for each wave.

National leaders and public health officials, therefore, need to be prepared for a long challenge and develop a strategy for a protracted response that will likely need to be adapted over time.

The African experience bears witness to the inherent instability of autocracy. Autocratic or semi-authoritarian govts ac...
04/24/2021

The African experience bears witness to the inherent instability of autocracy. Autocratic or semi-authoritarian govts account for …

… 3/4 of countries facing armed conflict
… 8/10 of countries generating forced displacement
… 9/10 of countries with the most acute food insecurity

And armed conflicts in Africa’s authoritarian-leaning countries have been ongoing for roughly twice as long, on average, as those in democratizing countries.

The African experience bears witness to the inherent instability of autocracy. Autocratic or semi-authoritarian govts account for …

… 3/4 of countries facing armed conflict
… 8/10 of countries generating forced displacement
… 9/10 of countries with the most acute food insecurity

And armed conflicts in Africa’s authoritarian-leaning countries have been ongoing for roughly twice as long, on average, as those in democratizing countries.

African security professionals serving under autocratic regimes are generally far more worried about the risk of a polit...
04/23/2021

African security professionals serving under autocratic regimes are generally far more worried about the risk of a political crisis than security professionals in democratic countries.

Autocracy => instability

Learn more about the concerns and perspectives of African security professionals in our research paper, “Assessing Attitudes of the Next Generation of African Security Sector Professionals”.

African security professionals serving under autocratic regimes are generally far more worried about the risk of a political crisis than security professionals in democratic countries.

Autocracy => instability

Learn more about the concerns and perspectives of African security professionals in our research paper, “Assessing Attitudes of the Next Generation of African Security Sector Professionals”.

Address

300 5th Ave, SW, Fort Lesley J McNair
Washington D.C., DC
20319-5066

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Africa Center for Strategic Studies posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Africa Center for Strategic Studies:

Videos