The French military operation Barkhane has concluded its withdrawal from Mali on 15 August 2022. As it relocates partially to neighbouring Niger, civil society has risen in protest there as well. Additionally, President Mohamed Bazoum’s announcement to increase the Diesel price ignited a public outcry. Megatrends Afrika spoke with Moussa Tchangari, secretary general of the Nigerien non-governmental organisation Alternative Espaces Citoyens (AEC), about the reasons for social discontent, new forms of protest, and possible ways out of the current security crisis.
Germany’s new National Security Strategy should emphasise crisis prevention, stabilisation, and peacebuilding. It should look at not only threats but also opportunities, identify principles for coherence, and ensure greater review of effectiveness, writes Gerrit Kurtz (SWP) in this Megatrends Afrika Spotlight.
After nearly a decade of military intervention, France has withdrawn its soldiers from Mali. The departure not only symbolises a failure of French intervention policy, argue Benedikt Erforth (IDOS) and Denis Tull (SWP) in this Megatrends Afrika Spotlight, but also reflects Europe’s foreign policy weakness. Yet, a more muted French footprint could also be an opportunity to build a more balanced and credible approach towards the Sahel.
In West African states, criticism of the “neo-colonial” CFA Franc currency and calls for monetary reform are not new. In this Megatrends Afrika Spotlight, Robin Frisch (University of Bayreuth) explains what monetary sovereignty means and how it is debated in CFA Franc countries. A profound monetary reform away from the CFA Franc offers a potential way out. Proposals exist, but they lack implementation.
Urbanisation offers great potential for Africa’s economic and social development but the rapid transformation is also putting a strain on Africa’s cities. Citizens have long demanded participation in urban governance that goes beyond elections. Although participatory processes have become increasingly evident, they are still far from being institutionalised at scale. This policy brief argues that participatory processes need to be thoroughly embedded in politics in order to move beyond particularistic gains towards a structural improvement of relations between citizens, CSOs, and local governments.
Political authority in Africa will be increasingly intertwined with and shaped by the megatrends. These processes of change can promote democratic structures, but also autocratic tendencies. At the moment, the latter trend prevails in many states worldwide.
Megatrends have become ubiquitous phenomena in public policy debates. A thorough understanding of what this concept entails is often missing. We want to address this gap by unpacking the notion “megatrend” and tracing the significance it has for understanding the transformation of African societies.