The number of conflicts in Africa is on the rise, as are victims and the displaced. This thematic area looks at new political orders that emerge as armed non-state actors proliferate. On the other hand, we analyse the transformation of conflicts and warfare themselves, driven by megatrends such as technological innovation and the multipolarisation of the regional order. Our regional focus lies on the Sahel and northern Africa.
For decades, policymakers have been calling to save Lake Chad. More recently, they have insisted the shrinking of the Lake was both the cause and consequence of Boko Haram. This narrative is not fully corroborated by scientific research and comes with risks, Vincent Foucher explains in this Megatrends Afrika Spotlight.
L’Iswap, la faction de l’État islamique en Afrique de l’Ouest est aujourd’hui l’un des mouvements djihadistes les plus actifs au monde. Son succès est en partie lié à l’influence et au soutien de l’État islamique (EI), qui a encouragé le mouvement à adopter une gouvernance rationalisée, plus précise et plus bureaucratique, limitant les violences à l’égard des civils musulmans. Cela a provoqué de fortes tensions au sein du mouvement djihadiste nigérian. La faction Bakura résiste à cette rationalisation et reste fidèle à la logique historique du djihadisme, au croisement entre le sectarisme, à la prédation et au clientélisme. L'étude de ce cas permet d'explorer la variété des modèles de gouvernance djihadistes et leurs déterminants.
Megatrends such as climate change, digitalisation, and urbanisation are transforming all aspects of politics, economics and society in Africa. Consequently, they are also affecting conflict dynamics. This Working Paper focuses specifically on how megatrends are altering patterns of foreign intervention in African conflicts. Two aspects stand out: the range of intervening powers is widening, and they are intervening increasingly at arm’s length by delegating to human or technical surrogates.
In northern Ghana, competition over resources has led to the emergence of antagonistic conflicts between ‘autochthonous’ farmers and ‘foreign’ herders. Climate change has acted as an exacerbating factor. New approaches are needed to reverse this worrying trend.
The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is one of the most active jihadist movements. Its success is linked to the influence of the Islamic State (IS), which has encouraged the movement to adopt a more streamlined, bureaucratic governance that limits the amount of violence committed against Muslim civilians. This has caused great tension within the Nigerian jihadist movement. The Bakura faction resists this rationalisation and adheres to sectarianism, predation and clientelism. This case study explores the variety of jihadist governance models and their determinants.
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.