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August 25, 2020

Nigeria
Niger Attack Demonstrates Islamic State in West Africa’s Growing Reach

The area between Niamey, Niger and Niger State, Nigeria will not be spared from jihadist groups’ attacks any longer and ISWA’s two branches, Shekau’s faction, and Ansaru will all be competing for recruits in the same areas.

Six Nigerian soldiers, in an armored truck, hold up a flag seized from Boko Haram. The flag is black, with a white circle in the middle with black Arabic writing.

October 12, 2020

China
Boxed Out of the West, Huawei Looks to Russia to Survive the Crisis and Emerge Stronger

Huawei has turned to Russian talent and technology after losing access to U.S. software for its devices.

Huawei logo is pictured on the headquarters building in Reading.

October 1, 2020

Niger
How to Build Better Militaries in Africa: Lessons from Niger

Niger is a key partner of the U.S. in West Africa. The United States provides a range of assistance to Niger, but the country stands out because strategic-level reforms have been taken seriously by both the United States and the partner country. 

Nigerien soldier, wearing fatigues, sunglasses, a brown hat, and with a gun resting on his shoulder, stands guard.

October 21, 2020

Emerging Economies
Transsion: a Chinese Prodigy in Africa?

The Chinese company has dominated mobile phone markets in Africa, though not without courting controversy.

A man looks at smartphones on display at a shop.

July 23, 2020

Nigeria
Not All Violent Problems Require Violent Solutions: Banditry in Nigeria’s North-West

For more than two years, northwestern Nigeria has faced devastating attacks from armed bandits, particularly in the states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, and Sokoto. But violent military operations are half-baked peace plans are not the answer.

A young man in a white tunic robe carries handmade guns. He is flanked by a soldier in camouflage fatigues and a rifle.

October 14, 2020

Ethiopia
Ethiopia: East Africa’s Emerging Giant

Ethiopia’s new leader, Abiy Ahmed, is seeking aggressive reforms to put an end to discord and build on the country’s progress in recent decades, but a towering set of challenges threatens his agenda.

Children play within the Balderas condominium in Addis Ababa.

January 9, 2020

West Africa
Jihadi Violence and Terror Surging in West Africa

In a follow up to his remarks in December, Mohamed Iban, Chambas, the UN special representative sand head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) sounded the alarm on growing militant and jihadi violence. In his January 8 briefing to the UN Security Council, he said the “devastating surge” in terrorism has “shaken public confidence.” He focused on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, where casualties from terrorism have increased fivefold since 2016, with 4,000 deaths in 2019 compared to 770 in 2016.

Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, briefs the Security Council on West Africa, on January 10, 2019, in New York.

October 2, 2020

Election 2020
Africa and the First U.S. Presidential Debate

Rather than a discussion about policy and ideas, the September 29 debate between Trump and Biden was a rant. In Africa, the debate will hardly burnish the image of democracy or the United States.

Vice President Biden and President Trump, both standing behind podiums, gesticulate towards the moderator during the first 2020 presidential debate.

September 4, 2019

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Coastal West Africa Now Facing Islamist Extremist Threat

West Africa is facing a growing threat from Islamist extremist groups. Many of these groups originated in Mali but have since spilled over its borders, with jihadis establishing themselves in the north and east of Burkina Faso. The country has become a desirable haven for many groups because of the security vacuum that has defined the country following the deposition of longtime strongman Blaise Compaore.

Silhouetted palm trees and woman carrying merchandise on her head on beach at sunset, Gulf of Guinea, Lome, Togo, West Africa.

September 29, 2020

Coronavirus
COVID-19 Less Deadly in Africa

Thus far, COVID-19 has been far less devastating in Africa than observers had feared. There have been 1.4 million cases of COVID-19, with less than 35,000 deaths.

Five Maasai elders wear traditional clothing and blue facemasks to protect from the coronavirus