With nearly 110,000 uniformed deployed “blue helmets” worldwide, the number of UN peacekeepers at a record high and most are in Africa. Paul D. Williams argues that increased U.S. involvement and leadership is necessary to combat the "untenable" situation facing UN peace operations in Africa.
Provides background information and research links on Africa, including sections on news, country background, history, data, government, and U.S. policy towards Africa. See also Middle East Research Links for more on North African countries.
The United States provides the greatest financial support to peace operations in Africa. Drawing on a new Council Special Report, Paul D. Williams discusses the United States’ efforts to “shape the strategic direction and design of peace operations on the continent.”
In a new Council Special Report, Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa, Paul D. Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
U.S. efforts to promote its preferred norms for cyberspace—Internet openness, security, and free speech—suffered a significant setback in the summer of 2013 with the Snowden disclosures. Henry Farrell identifies three steps the United States can take to reinvigorate its norm-promotion efforts.
Africa’s most populous country is holding tight elections amid a fierce insurgency and plummeting oil revenues. There are concerns that the vote could trigger a new round of instability, writes CFR’s John Campbell.
Jason Stearns, director of the Usalama project at the Rift Valley Institute, discusses the current situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with professors and students, as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, Thomas J. Bollyky argues that continued U.S. and private sector leadership on the unfinished health agenda in Africa is as important now as it has been in the past and for the same reasons: a peaceful, inclusive economy presupposes healthier, more productive lives.
The United States should position itself to take advantage of a post-Mugabe transition by working with other countries of the southern African region to limit the risk of civil violence in Zimbabwe and lay the groundwork for a better future.
John Campbell, CFR’s Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies, discusses the political and security implications of Nigeria’s Independent National Elections Commission’s decision to postpone the February 14, 2015 presidential elections until March 28, 2015, as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
Apartheid’s legacy of mistrust and prejudice has prevented South Africa from establishing a truly stable multiracial democracy. But increasing contact among the races and the emergence of a black middle class offer hope of reducing the role of race in national politics.
International donors have many compelling causes to choose from, but reducing energy poverty—a plight afflicting over two billion people—should rank among the very top. The poor need energy to alleviating all their other problems, from poor health to unemployment to instability.
The 2015 elections again may precipitate violence that could destabilize Nigeria, and Washington has even less leverage in Abuja than it did in 2011. CFR Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies John Campbell analyzes new concerns about Nigeria's fraught politics.
Last month, Soma Oil and Gas, a London based energy company, searching for hydrocarbon deposits off the coast of Somalia, announced that it had completed a seismic survey to ascertain the potential for recoverable oil and gas deposits. Although further details have yet to be released, chief executive Rob Sheppard announced that the results were encouraging. However, Somalia, and potential investors, should proceed with caution when considering entering this frontier market.
Authors: Herman J. Cohen, Charles G. Cogan, and Stephen R. Weissman
Stephen Weissman should be congratulated for his excellent research on the CIA’s involvement in Congo’s internal politics immediately after independence (“What Really Happened in Congo,” July/August 2014).
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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