Dr Andrew Edward Yaw Tchie, Senior Research Fellow for Africa Security, and Obasanjo Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute[1] – Written evidence (ZAF0032)




The UK and Sub-Saharan Africa—prosperity, peace and development co-operation


Key Trends in Africa

Across the African continent and within the regions that I cover as part of my research there are five trends which are important factors in understanding how Africa is evolving.


  1. Decentralised and disaggregated forms of violence are rising e.g. terrorism, urban riots either due to constitutional changes or general electoral disputes, small insurgencies operating in state peripheries and criminality linked to illicit economies.
  2. Since the onset of the ‘war on terror’ conflicts in Africa have observed new involvement from regional and international actors creating spaces for proxy war to continue or emerge. An added element to this is that existing disputes or conflicts with non-state armed groups are seen and tackled as part of the global terrorism narrative.
  3. African and international responses to these security challenges are hampered by a prevailing focus with ongoing criminality, violence, conflicts and terrorism rather than on their prevention, mitigation and building peace through sustainable initiatives. 
  4. Conflict management in Africa over the last five years has mainly relied on military means at the expense of broader economic and political approaches that would address the underlying socio-economic and political drivers nudging people to be involved.
  5. Insecurity in Africa is increasingly driven by the reoccurrence of conflicts in some countries rather than by the emergence of new conflicts. Recurrences are often birthed out of old grievances which draw in local groups or economically deprived individuals through networks. These networks may be ideological lead, but individual communities or civilians often join based on concerns for their safety or because it provides them with an income.


Aggravating the situation through the observed trends above, there are a few drivers which must be considered.


  1. Unequal economic growth in many African countries as well as structural wealth distribution issues.
  2. A lack of democratisation coupled with weak state capacity, the absent governance structures and often non-existing institutions.
  3. Weak institutional formation and sustainable systems beyond the political leadership. African institutions are still based on the centre of politics and do not expand beyond the leader, to include local governance structures.
  4. Increasing population sizes, economic growth, rapid urbanisation, and an increasing share of socially deprived communities. Often these communities are based in populated urban areas, but more recently there has been an increase in rural areas too. 
  5.                     A lack of inclusion and the acceptance of diversity within states. This spreads into areas such as the economic distribution of wealth through land rights. 


What are the key challenges to peace and security in the regions you focus on?


Below, I have grouped some of the key challenges, but for an extensive list please see the section labelled other areas of consideration for the committee going forward.


Non-state armed and terrorist actors


  1.                     The increasing threat of terrorist groups who are embedding amongst civilians’ communities and linking with local and global agendas of Jihadism.
  2.                     Exploiting grievances- The emergence of terrorism across parts of Africa and the increase of Islamic groups on the continent is less about ideology, but often driven by local issues like security, access to infrastructure, economic deprivation and health care and unresolved grievances.
  3.                     The rise in terrorist activity can also be linked to low-level criminality occurring within communities. This is often associated with smaller local groups where the group structure is often disaggregated or there is a break down in the principle-agent model. This has resulted in local civilians experiencing new levels of indiscriminate violence that is often criminal and not necessarily linked traditional modes of terrorist action. 
  4.                     Coordinated attacks by al-Qaida and IS groups across borders, which has led to states involved in the G5 Sahel having to chase groups across neighbouring countries. This is particularly noticeable in Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria as well as DRC, Rwanda and Uganda.
  5.                     Extremist groups are often deploying sophisticated attacks using new technologies like drones in Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria. Recent evidence suggests that Boko Haram has deployed this technic in Northern Nigeria.
  6.                     Africa currently lacks predicted resources and expertise to strengthen African security efforts to counter violent extremism (CVE) and prevent criminality linked to Illicit economies. Some states lack strong state institutions to help foster many of the good governance examples that we see across other developing states like in Ghana. A large part of this problem is due to the inability between states to coordinate and communicate with each other. In essence, Africa's security nexus lacks a common unified purpose and approach to these issues. Sometimes this is also to do with trust between states, often linked to historical differences or because a state once supported a neighbouring states non-state armed group; examples include South Sudan and DRC.
  7.                     Youth unemployment remains a driver for extremist recruitment. Young people feel they have no other choice but to join groups because of the lack of education or a lack of access to jobs within their communities. Part of this recruitment drive has been the art of recruitment facilitated by the use of cyber platforms to support the actions of these non-state armed groups.
  8.                     Foreigners fighters who fought with the Islamic State in Yemen, Iraq and Syria are relocating to the Africa continent. These groups often embed into fragile and conflict-affected areas where the government presence is weak or often non-existent.


Unresolved political, governance and social issues


  1.                     Often states with support from international partners approach peace and security from a militarised standpoint only. These approaches do not address the root causes of conflict and the systematic lack of institutional structures, security, governance and economic developments in communities. Often these approaches are focused on defeating the enemy without understanding the circumstance in which these groups emerged, operate and how they embed amongst civilians. This often means countermeasures leave civilians vulnerable to attacks on both sides (state and non-state) during times of battles in contested and uncontested zones.
    1. Linked to this is the training provided by international actors that often supports the state. This in reality often means the training of particular ethnic’s groups or those ethnicities associated with the centre of power. Once trained, these state actors go on to inflicts large amounts of indiscriminate violence against civilians. The use of indiscriminate violence by these trained actors is often done knowing that these groups of civilians are not all linked to the targeted non-state actor.
  2.                     The Issue of diversity and inclusion across states and within weak state system is a problem. As mentioned before, some African states are not as diverse as expected and this aspect can often feed into the way the state redistributes wealth, but also how it reacts to circumstances that it sees as a security threat.
  3.                     Land distribution across many parts of Africa is an issue. Most communities have inter-community conflicts over land allocation and property rights. In other cases, the laws surrounding land rights are outdated and often benefits particular sectors or ethnicities. Historical cross border land disputes between neighbouring communities persist and when combined with a rush for resources continues to divide communities and nations.
  4.                     Since 2015 Algeria, Burundi, Comoros, Chad, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Togo, and Uganda have amended their constitutions in favour of incumbents, either to centralise power or to extend term limits.
  5.                     Over the last few years, there has been a marked increase in the number of states using internet blackout across Africa. This appears to be done to restrict debate and discussion during elections and during times when protests are taking place.


Resources concerns

  1.                     Most conflicts are geographically restrained, taking place within a limited number of countries and a limited geographic area.
  2.                     There are rising tensions between states over access to natural resource particularly maritime disputes because these are seen as new ways of lifting states out of hardship. For example, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam- and access to the Nile between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia has now pulled in Kenya and Uganda, with Djibouti and Somalia side with Egypt and Saudi Arabia. A maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia over potential oil exploration. Finally, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the offshore oil production-sharing agreement between the two countries.
  3.                     The distribution of resources internally- Concerns over the distribution of wealth and the impact of state contracts with external actors. Often there is no redistribution of wealth from these natural resources beyond the central governments. In some cases, state contracts with external actors’ impact on the way local communities develop their economic wealth and sustain their communities. For example, a few West African countries have signed contracts with Chinese fishing firms, to allow them to fish in their waters, but these agreements neglect the impact on local food chains, blue economy and the unintended rise of privacy in the region.
  4.                     Some states in Africa have been selling large acres of land to Middle East countries as a way of dealing with food insecurity in their states. For example, the purchase of grazing land in Sudan which may cause further problems between the state and local communities.
    1. Another aspect of the state capturing of land is how state and non-state armed groups are creating new illicit economies and controlling natural resources like the Jebel Amer gold mine in Darfur, one of several controlled by the Rapid Support Forces.[2]
  5.                     Competition in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden is creating further tensions between African states. For example, disagreements between Turkey, Qatar, Emirate and Saudi Arabia impact the way states in Africa behave with each other. This, in turn, shapes national and domestic policy in Africa. Some African states have been known to change policy when aid or handouts are offered, for example, Somalia pulled back its support for Qatar during the Saudi competition.
  6.                     Populated urban areas and dealing with a lack of security and governance in these areas. Linked to this is how the state responds to insecurity in these areas given the urban nature of terrorist groups who embed themselves amongst civilians.


General Security- Land and Sea

  1.                     Unchecked corruption and drug trafficking across land and sea that pose severe threats to national stability as they continue unchecked. This includes weak accountability mechanisms and opacity in defence sectors and across regions. This lack of transparency translates into governments actions when it comes to the way the government may release incomplete information on budgets, personnel management systems, policy planning, and acquisitions of military assets. This, in turn, often coupled with a lack of expertise and resources, undermines civilian oversight.
  2.                     The heavy investment in state security from international actors as a means of curtailing international jihadism and migration; often means some African states end up disproportionately using heavy-handed force on civilians.
  3.                     There has been significant emphasis and support for state security apparatus which builds the state’s leadership and their networks, but further weakens existing deficient state institutions and accountability mechanisms.
  4.                     Defence sector's corruption undermines stability and security and to a large extent, the involvement of international actors who approach Africa from a security aspect may be making the security situation worse. For example, before Sudan’s revolution, Sudan’s defence spending was almost 80 percent of the state budget. Some of these funds were allocated by the EU for Al Bashir to deal with the migration route issue. This, in turn, was later used to fund the Rapid Support forces formerly known as the Janjaweed in Darfur to deal with migration issues.
  5.                     The lack of a unified and integrated security approach when dealing with Jihadism across the continent. Furthering this problem is the way laws are adjusted or recreated as a means to solving terrorism which tends to exacerbate the issue. For example, in Burkina Faso, the law has been changed to allow anyone over 18 to take up two weeks training and then be given a gun and be deployed as part of local self-defence units. Similar tactics were deployed in Peru but did not end well for locals. This features as part of Burkina’s Faso countermeasures. Arming people with weapons who know how to use, while they sit around not being paid is dangerous. Arming volunteers’ risks exacerbating tensions between the marginalised communities and other ethnic groups.
  6.                     Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea has recently seen a significant increase in the levels of piracy. According to recent data, the levels of piracy now exceed the levels of piracy off the Somali coast. 
  7.                     If the levels of terrorism in Burkina Faso continue to rise and the eastern offensive falls, there will be major consequences for countries off the coast of West Africa.
  8.                     Despite the African Union (AU) efforts to silence the guns by 2020. The flow of weapons moving across borders and into new conflict areas seems to be on the rise. For example, weapons purchased by Uganda have been known to make their way into South Sudan and then onto Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of these weapons are making their way into the hands of local groups.
  9.                     There is still a lack of training for African troops and a lack of coordination and communication between G5 Sahel member states, France, AU and the UN.


International Influence

  1.                     International actors or partners often focus their funding on military approaches which has helped to undermine Regional Economic Communities (REC) or regional mechanisms that have been set up to deal with conflicts. For example, the setup of the G5 Sahel mission currently undermines regional cooperation through The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
  2.                     Diplomatically, the international community is heavily reliant on ceasefires and sanctions, in Africa, as a way of mitigating conflicts. In the short term, this method reduces violence but does not eradicate the root cause of conflict or deal with the long-term impacts of conflicts persisting. Operating in negative peace is far more dangerous in the long-term to the stability of a country because it often avoids the underline issues which started the conflict.
  3.                     There is an over reliance on elections[3] as the ultimate solution to transition countries to democracy. The focus on elections through peace agreements at the end of 2-3 years transitional period often neglect the weak state that exists. This push for elections can further erode weak institutions state and makes states prone to democratic regression.
  4.                     Proxy politics- While instruments like aid can be used to prop up leaders, it can also be used to further enrol new clients at the expense of neighbouring countries. In some cases, there has been the formation of new self-governing groups as a way of preventing further land grabbing.[4]


What is your assessment of the role and impact of non-state actors in Sub-Saharan African peace and security, and to what extent are armed non-state groups transnational in nature?


  1.                     Non-state armed groups can allow conflicts to develop into regional and trans-regional components bringing together various areas of instability. Often this is assisted by the way the state behaves and the states inability to govern.
  2.                     Many non-state armed groups, especially Islamic groups are progressively transnational and interconnected. The nature and capacity of these groups when it comes to training, creating and capitalising on illicit economies are very sophisticated and can penetrate deep into societies. Comparison can be made with the Shining Path in Peru and the Maoist in Nepal. 
  1.                     The involvement of international powers in the region might exasperate non-state armed groups to take on new agendas and present themselves to a new array of disenfranchised civilians.
  2.                     The creation of parallel states or communities that provide governance, justice, infrastructure and development should be a pause for concern. In many of these areas, non-state armed groups provide fast and robust forms of governance and justice systems that the state is unable to provide. The creation of new communities or societies by non-state armed groups is eroding existing weak local capacities, governing capabilities and creates a crisis of political illegitimacy.
  1.                     Terrorist groups are expanding the types of tools they are using during attacks. In some situation, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology in battles has been used against the state and international partners. 


How important is an actor in the African Union in addressing key peace and security challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular in the Sahel and East Africa?


  1.                     The African Union[5] is crucial to supporting security efforts in both regions.
  2.                     It is unthinkable that the UN would consider deploying a new peace operation in Africa without close consultation with the AU and relevant African countries and or sub-regional organisations being involved. While I anticipate the UN will remain as a key partner across all African security issues. The UN's strength lies in the deployment of new multi-dimensional peace security activities in Africa. These are often mission’s that include support from AU, RECs or states led.
  3.                     Due to the violent nature of conflicts in Africa, the UN would probably only consider deploying a peace operation in Africa, if the AU or the relevant RECs or sub-region were able to take the lead. This is largely due to the response time of these missions being deployed by the AU and RECs.
  4.                     While the AU PSC protocol Article 3 (l) of the Constitutive Act mandates the AU to ‘coordinate and harmonise the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union’.[6] The AU is crucial to coordinating Africa’s responses to avoid duplication of efforts and external influence. However, the AU is not good at leading on missions as it lacks this capacity.
  5.                     The two mission in which the AU is taking a leading role is the military intervention in Somalia and the mediation to end the ongoing border dispute between Sudan and South Sudan.
  6.                     Where the AU is weakest, is the capacity of the PSC which has remained silent on many issues but undermined by the AU chair and RECs. To date, the AU PSC has remained silent on the conflict in northern Cameroon, ethnic-based clashes in Ethiopia and the situation in northern Mozambique which by March 2020 appeared to be worsening.[7]This lack of effective and timely responses to situations violates the trust that the AU Assembly and African citizens place in the council.


Which non-African countries are the most important outside actors in the regions you focus on? How would you assess their roles? How does this compare to the UK’s engagement?


Countries: China, EU-Germany peace-building, development and conflict resilience mitigation verse France-military approach to counterterrorism, Turkey, Gulf states- Saudi Arab, Qatar, UAE, Russia and India.

  1.                     The most important actor is China with its long-term strategic infrastructure projects linked to its belt and road initiative. The EU still has relevance and so does the US, but the US charm appears to be declining. Below, I outline some of the approaches taken by these states. Particular attention should be paid to Turkey because it has a unique long-term strategy which most people undervalue.
  2.                     China's approach
    1. Infrastructure projects- Belt and Road initiative.
    2. Strengthening and maintaining partnerships with states who are open to and supportive of the Chinese government and its businesses.
    3. Protect its financial interests through loans repayment. This also includes ensuring that China’s investments are secured, and all chains are not undisrupted.
    4. Intervention in the politics or policies of partner states must be seen as being at the invitation of their governments. Ensuring China is proactive in its response to instability in partner countries.


  1.                     China response to support Africa’s instability?
    1. China encourages reform and offers advice and opportunities to learn from China's experience of governance. This includes providing technical assistance to African states.
    2. Providing training to peacekeepers deployed by the United Nations and regional bodies through Chinese military academies and providing exchange courses.
    3. China provides lending and investment, but the state must take steps to improve economic management; reducing its financial exposures.[8]
    4. China provides spherical loans but secures these loans through natural resources. This is done in two ways.
      1. Chinese banks provide loans in the form of export buyer’s credit.
      2. Chinese secure these loans against natural resources. A state-owned company in the partner country will extract the resources, sell them and deposit a share of the revenues in an account for the Chinese bank.


  1.                     Turkey’s approach
    1. Humanitarian aid and political support.
    2. Trade and institutional cooperation.
    3. Nudging state to compile towards Turkeys long-term orientation and position in international politics.
    4. Reducing Africa’s economic dependence on traditional European and Russian trading partners.


  1.                     Turkey’s response to support Africa’s instability?
    1. 41 embassies and President Erdoğan has visited over 26 African countries.
    2. Turkeys largest oversea military base is in Mogadishu.
    3. Turkey trains the Somali National Army soldiers. Somalia soldiers receive training in Turkey and work on an exchange-training programme in Turkey.
    4. Turkish Airlines a state-owned company now provides flights to 52 routes from Istanbul to 33 different African countries.
    5. Bilateral trade with Africa has increased five-fold from 2003 to over $20 billion in 2018.
    6. Humanitarian assistance and support for Muslim communities have increased.
    7. Major infrastructure projects across the continent, such as the construction of roads and railways.
    8. Maternal and childcare centres in Niger, women’s shelters in Cameroon and a vocational training centre in Madagascar
    9. Turkish construction company Yapı Merkezi won a $3 billion railway project deal in Ethiopia and Tanzania over Chinese competitors.
    10. First Lady Emine Erdoğan women’s empowerment project in Africa.
    11. Importing of Turkish TV dramas on African TVs.


  1.                     Africa’s view of relations with the U.K.: While the UK does have projects in Africa, most of these projects are done through DfID, FCO and MoD. There are also existing bilateral relations with former colonial or Commonwealth states. However, in comparison to China, EU, Turkey the UK is further down the list. 
  2.                     We often say why should the UK choose Africa as a partner?” However, the question should be why should Africa choose the UK? Based on this questioning; 
    1. African leaders are aware of the China model, but they do not want the hindrance and rules previously placed on them which often comes when the UK provides aid.
    2. UK models of investment are viewed as cumbersome, conditional, and time-consuming.
    3. Africa seeks a new kind of partnership with the UK. A partnership that is built on a broad and deep financial and trade relationship, and not on the foundations of aid and limiting tariffs created for an Africa decades ago.
    4. The UK needs to modernise its approach, treat Africa as equals, and allow Africa the tariffs to build her global brands to sell to the world.


How do you assess the role of the European Union in the regions you focus on, and how do you think its role will change following the withdrawal of the UK?


  1.                     The EU's' role in Africa will increase particularly with the EU recently announcing a focus on African development through its five steps partnership model.


  1.                     Past EU-efforts:
    1. Africa -EU partnership (2000)
    2. Joint Africa-EU Strategy (2007)
    3. Multiannual roadmaps and action plan (Updated each Africa-EU summit).


  1.                    France and Germany's response:
    1. German- Investment, humanitarian aid, conflict resolution and mitigation
    2. French- Counterterrorism, training military and some infrastructure investment.


  1.                     The EU’s five steps to partnerships-2020[9]
    1. A partnership for green transition and energy access; - climate change and environmental degradation
    2. A partnership for digital transformation; - investment in infrastructure and reliable sources of electricity and robust regulatory framework, in areas such as data and consumer protection, digital financial services, cybercrime and e-governance.
    3. A partnership for sustainable growth and jobs; - boosting trade and sustainable investments in Africa Regional and continental economic integration; (b) improving the investment climate and business environment; (c) increasing access to quality education, skills, research, innovation, health and social rights; (d) advancing regional and continental economic integration.
    4. A partnership for peace and governance; - Peace and security, governance, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, Resilience
    5. A partnership on migration and mobility.


How do peace and security challenges affect the economic development of countries in East Africa and the Sahel?


  1.                     Largely speaking security challenges cripple the economy, production and the growth potential of the overall country. In some cases, it creates parallel economies that run independently of the official state system like in eastern DRC in the Northern Kivu’s. My own experience of South Sudan between 2015-17, was that the Sudanese Pound dropped significantly and the flow of basics good struggle to enter into the country due to insecurity which would later lead to the manmade famine in 2017. 


Some of our witnesses have said that the Government should focus its attention in Sub-Saharan Africa on countries with which the UK has stronger existing and historic relationship, and not expand its attention to, for example, the Sahel. What is your view on how widely the UK should work in the region? 


  1.                     I would agree agree, but this depends on what the strategic end goal is, and the UK government is yet to identify this.
  2.                     The militarised approach to dealing with insecurity in the Sahel is making the situation between the state, international partners and civilians worse. In some states, like in Mali, it has further eroded the capacity of the state and created an over reliance on international partners. Since the 2000s, there has been increased engagement with Africa from the US, EU and France with a focus on security. Many of these security programmes and partnerships have produced mixed results, on the one hand, they have contained widespread instability, but they have not done enough to address root causes of conflict and instability and I believe they have added a new layer of insecurity that is now spreading throughout parts of Africa. 
  3.                     There are five overall concerns that I have with the UK troop deployment to the Sahel. Firstly, the UK should not deploy troops to a conflict that already lacks synergy, communication and no end mission or goal. There are better ways of creating and sustaining bilateral partnerships with the EU and France post-Brexit. Secondly, the UK still has lessons to learn from Iraq and Afghanistan about how it deals with the type of warfare and whether troops are:


    1. Equipped to deal with the type of conflict confronting them in the Sahel.
    2. Whether they understand the African context enough to know that they will have an impact in the region and achieve significant wins.
    3. Whether they are willing to learn from their African counterparts who have significant experience in operating and trying to deal with emerging situations in the Sahel. Despite, the incapacities African troops have the know-how but often lack the right equipment, approach and long-term hybrid solutions to resolve the issue of terrorism. 


  1.                     Thirdly, entering a country and attempting to deploy troops to conduct reconnaissance missions without some links to the history or culture, means that the British troops will be reliant on the French perspective and narrative of Africa, which may not serve them well. This could create further hindrance and confusion for British troops on the ground. The troops will have to deal with situations whereby local urban areas are filled with embedded jihadists fighter, local fighters and civilians. This is not simply about remote warfare of countering guerrilla attacks by 1980s insurgency groups. Many of these jihadist groups are innovative in their approach to the conflict and are using multi-layered approaches to inflict damage on the enemy. Fourth, given that the approach by the French and others has only seen a marked increase in violence in places like Burkina Faso and a shift in violence from one country to another. The UK's joining could mean that coastal countries linked to the UK could be dragged into new forms of conflicts over unresolved grievances that currently exists.  Finally, accountability is going to be key, if British troops come up against a situation where there is heavy fighting whom will they report too? How will they respond? and will they be held guilty if civilians are killed? What repercussions will this have on the British population back home and how will it impact the way terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda view the UK overall.


  1.                     Given the US is intending to pull out of Africa this may be where the UK could play a role within two areas. Firstly, consider providing logistical support and communications which the US provides the French and the wider region. Secondly, the UK could expand its remote warfare strategy away from its current focus to include providing training, support, and intelligence-gathering capacity to states with strong accountability mechanisms embedded as part of its programming. This could also extend to increasing programming for fragile and conflict-affected states with weak state capacity and deficient institutional structure. The UK could include joining its efforts in Nigeria (supporting the fight against Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin) and Kenya to create a new Pan-Africa-UK initiative (PAUKI) with integrated support from the MoD, FCO and Stabilisation Unit using existing CSSF funds. As part of this effort could include a mandate to increase counterterrorism capacity in Mali, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Kenya, and Somalia as well as supporting coastal countries like Ghana, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone who have seen the level of piracy increase in the Gulf of Guinea.


Other areas where the UK can support Africa.

  1.                     The Implementation of the Kigali principles. -The effective implementation of the POC mandates in U.N. peacekeeping operations.[10] 
  2.                     The UN-AU regional partnership needs to be strengthened following UNSC 2320 (2016), welcoming Cost-Sharing Proposal, Stronger Cooperation between the United Nations, African Union.
  3.                     Given the UK UN P5 position, the UK could help set new priorities and push for updated mandates that reflect the realities on the ground in conflicted and fragile states.
  4.                     Capacity building is often well-intending but putting people in the Kofi Annan centre or the Cairo centre is not the only solution to what is needed on the ground in the Horn, the Sahel or in the Lake Chad Basin. The UK could train troop-contributing countries, soldiers before they are deployed to UN, AU-hybrid missions or REC peace operations.
  5.                     Sole investment in AU peace and security has the unintended consequence of marginalising the role of the AU Department of Political Affairs in addressing Africa’s security problems. The UK could help to strengthen the AU political affairs team which needs support. 


Other areas of consideration for the committee going forward

  1.                     Resolving existing conflict and previous existing civil wars. This should extend to examining and countering the impact of negative peace through the increasing use of ceasefires by diplomats.
  2.                     Geo-economic influences- in the form of regional influences, international influences versus short term aid driven approaches versus China infrastructure approaches versus Russia- security approaches. 
  3.                     Regional and security integration- How are sub-regions going to integrate, with increasing urban areas and the movement of African people within and across states. How do you avoid another backlash against African in African states? How do you ensure Human rights are respects and how do you raise the standards across states?
  4.                     Cross border migration- conflict migration, economic migration, climate change-induced migration.
  5.                     Trends in transitions to power - How to build and sustain state institutions beyond the leader and central government. Developing governance, democratic values and structures in Africa.
  6.                     Ocean governance- Governing Africa’s waters and dealing with Africa’s blue economy.
  7.                     Dealing with non-state armed groups or traditional insurgency group (e.g. violent extremism: Somalia and the Sahel).
  8.                     Security responses- National responses to conflict and approaches to the perceived threat while dealing with the actual security threats in Africa (e.g. riots and protests: Cameroon and South Africa versus government crackdown in Togo or Guinea and labelling groups as terrorists)
  9.                     The need to look at an agenda focused on disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) across Africa to help support the AU silencing the guns initiative.
  10.                     Rapid urban development and expansion of cities to mega cities-Linked to this is youth unemployment and engagement in politics and local governance. 
  11.                     Land rights, governance, distribution and purchases by foreign countries.
  12.                     Supporting Africa’s Peace and Security Architecture and the United Nations.


Received 30 March 2020


[1]The information and analysis submitted is part of evidence prepared in advance for the House of Lords committee on International Relations and Defence which is assessing the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa—prosperity, peace and development co-operation. It submitted as part of shorthand notes for the committee and reflects the views and analysis conducts by Dr Andrew Edward Yaw Tchie. The submission does not reflect the position of RUSI or external funders. The analysis here covers four geographic areas of Africa; the Horn, the Gulf of Guinea, the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin.

[2] South Kordofan, making them a key player in an industry that produces Sudan’s largest export.

[3] E.g. Somalia despite the 4.5 federal system, South Sudan peace agreement and elections in three-year, Sudan Sovereign council makeup. - Sufficient funding; the required laws weren’t in place; there were major security issues, and the central government and federal member states had serious disagreements.

[4] https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/land-grabbing-and-its-implications-sudanese-views-scholar

[5] Eight AU peace operations include to Burundi (AMIB), the Central African Republic (MISCA), Comoros (AMISEC and MAES), Mali (AFISMA), Somalia (AMISOM) and Sudan (AMIS I and II). Also, it has provided support to ad hoc regional security coalitions against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Boko Haram and instability in the Sahel region.

[6]  2008 memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the AU and sub-regional organisations and mechanisms.

[7] AU Continental Early Warning System, one of the key components of the African Peace and Security Architecture, and from regional economic communities (RECs), in responding to disputes in time.

[8] Chinese companies also extract natural resources and secure revenue to cover the loan repayments.

[9] This has been taken from the EU's new initiative launched in early March 2020. 

[10] Issued after the High-Level International Conference on the Protection of Civilians held in Rwanda on May 28 and 29, 2015.