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Tuesday, 03 March 2009 14:23

Africa Peace and Security

Africa has been the focus of enormous international attention in the past decade, not least because of the spate of armed conflict since the 1990s, the threats they pose to international peace and security and the obstacles they create for African efforts to achieve regional integration and development. Of the bottom 30 countries on the Human Development Index, 28 are in Africa. The continent accounts for more than 40% of global conflicts; its economy remains weak despite its abundant natural resource endowment; its political institutions are still fragile, in spite of African and international efforts to encourage development of a vibrant civil society; and its social infrastructures remain frail.


CSDG’s work on African peace and security focuses on three inter-related sets of issues. The first concerns new and critical challenges to security in the region. The second relates to the knowledge gap on peace and security of importance to African institutions charged with the maintenance of regional security. The third is the absence of a sound knowledge base and analytical capacity on peace and security among a next generation of African scholars and researchers.


In the last five years, CSDG’s research in this area has concentrated on several issues. One relates to the security and development challenges posed by demographic shifts. In this regard, CSDG is conducting a multi-country study examining the impact of Africa’s rising youth bulge on security and development. A second area of research focus is on conflict over natural resource management and governance in Africa. A third research focus is on the capacity of African regional organisations to manage current conflicts and anticipate future threats to security on the continent. Lastly, CSDG research examines how current trends in global security interact with and impact the African security terrain. CSDG’s on-going study on radicalisation and violence in West Africa is an example


CSDG’s research in this area includes regular engagement with a number of African regional security institutions and policy actors, as end-users. In addition, CSDG engages African scholars and researchers in the design and implementation of its research and as part of core research teams. This approach, as well as CSDG’s African Fellowship programme aimed at building the next generation of scholars and analysts in the field of peace and security are intended to contribute to strengthening research and analytical capacity in this area of work in Africa.