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Paul Wekem, CPP Writes: Africa Security Landscape



Economic hardship, urbanization and climate change is likely to restructure Africa’s security landscape by 2023 couple with natural disaster that is: flooding resulting from high sea levels and torrential rainfall and a surge in migration. The impact of these tendencies will contrast over time. Economic hardship, unemployment, crime and corruption on the continent will trigger youth agitation and demonstration.

The unescapable evolution of Africa’s security landscape will clearly change the security environment rendering it volatile and complex. The combined consequence of growing populace and desertification in the Sahel will activate a heighten tensions rendering the inhabitants prone to vehemence extremism. The diverse pathways and potential impacts of this evolution could inform the design and implementation of relevant policies to further strengthen the corridors of security.

The 10-month civil war in Ethiopia which has exiled about 2 million people from the fragile environment, has led to massive human rights violations, and famine in the northern Tigray region. Studies has shown that the Gulf of Guinea remains the hotspot for piracy, drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime remains an enduring concern in Central, West and East Africa.

Cyber criminals continue to operate across the region by taken an advantage over weak infrastructures.


On the other hand, U.S. adversaries are expanding their footprint on the continent, building naval bases, selling surveillance technology and drones, and dispatching mercenaries to conflict zones.

Russian legionnaires are operating in Central African Republic and have been asked by the Malian government to render services in the Sahel. Russia has signed more than 20 bilateral military cooperation agreements with African states since 2015. Africa’s future is threatened by violent extremist in the Sahel and Al-Shabaab affiliates in Somalia, fueled by developed countries to their advantage.

China has a base in Djibouti and has funded about 44 commercial ports across the region and continue to expand its economic and military presence on the continent. Today China is Africa’s largest trading partner.



The limitations of African militaries in response to these threats coupled with over reliance on developed countries have been all too evident. Their weakness in Mali and the CAR was probably inevitable in view of their economic and geographic fundamentals. While retrospectively it is always easy to identify political weaknesses, prior to its collapse Mali was not on any of the three independently maintained lists of fragile states. It was one of the better-conducted democracies.

In contrast, the limitations of the military in Nigeria and Kenya are not fundamentally economic. In both countries the military tasks required to respond to terrorist attacks were relatively modest. In Nigeria, about 200 schoolgirls were abducted by a small rebel group and taken to a forest area, yet they could not immediately be traced by the Nigerian military. In Kenya, a shopping mall in Nairobi was overrun by terrorists, and coastal villages were brutally attacked. When the military was called in to the Nairobi shopping mall, they took the opportunity to loot the shops.


We need to recognize the opportunity of Africa and invest in the continent in support of African aspirations for both democratic governance, repositioning of our defense and response strategies  to deal with the growing insecurity  in the region.


Written By Security Analyst, Paul Wekem, CPP.


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  1. Arun

    November 29, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Hello, Nice Blog Sir!!!

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