African politics

The Increasing Presence and Role of Private Security Firms in Africa: The Russian Company “Wagner” as a Model

Ahmad Askar | 07 Jun 2020

Private military and security companies have come to play a pivotal role in materializing the agendas and goals of international powers in areas of influence to maximize their strategic interests. With the multiplicity of the roles played by those companies, they have been increasingly relied upon by some African rulers over the last decade. This has led to expanding their role in African countries and increasing their political, economic and military influence. While the Russian strategy towards Africa rests on the security dimension in light of the security challenges experienced by most African countries, the role of Wagner Group in Africa is on the rise and has been developing noticeably. While this enhances the Russian role in the continent, it equally drives towards a new stage of the militarization of the African continent and intensified international competition and the impact thereof on Africa’s future in light of the predicted expansion of the activity of such companies moving forward.

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Somalia’s 2020/2021 National Elections: Problematic Issues and Potential Scenarios

EPC | 18 May 2020

Preparations are underway to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 in Somalia. A new draft electoral law has been developed by the Ministry of the Interior after consultation with the five federal states and the parties concerned. It was then approved by the Council of Ministers and both chambers of Parliament, to be ratified by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in February 2020. Holding elections in a federal country with weak institutions in both the centre and the periphery constitutes a completely new adventure. The political scene lacks federal states that are united, strong and capable of negotiating. Neither is there a strong centre that is capable of delegating some of its powers to the periphery. On the contrary, there is a federal government that has failed to take control of many areas and that acts as if it is in control of the whole of Somalia. In contrast, there are regional states that are weak and incapable of properly controlling the areas where they are located. This paper aims to analyze the political process in Somalia, monitor the main influential actors at the current political scene, and build potential scenarios for those elections.

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The Future of the African Continent in Light of Covid-19 Crisis

Ahmad Askar | 11 May 2020

The large-scale spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa raises numerous concerns about the extent of readiness of its countries in countering the epidemic and the nature and magnitude of the losses they sustain. These concerns get even worse in view of the challenges faced by the continent on all fronts, particularly with regard to the continent’s poor health system and the possible consequences of failure to counter the pandemic. This maximizes the continent’s political, economic, security and social costs in a manner that would adversely reflect on the future of the African continent and its relationship with the outside world going forward.

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