The world bank predicts that Africa could look forward to another year of steady economic growth on the back of a global recovery. While we cannot deny we have several security challenges that could scupper that development, this is what I believe might arise this year:
The war in Jihadi groups continues in 2018. World powers are increasingly more openly involvement in the continent, they are carrying out surveillance, training local forces and also even targeting these military groups directly but the main focal point will be in the Western Africa region. The increase there in number of forces from Europe and the U.S to counter the threat to groups linked to So Queda and so called Islamic State. But what will be key there is if these forces can win over local communities and not be seen as invaders. And apart from the military action there also has to be solid political and community based approaches too.
3 African countries will remain in conflict, and we will still not be able to grab the world’s attention. In South Sudan there’s a repeated of signing and braking of peace agreements. There were supposed to be elections this year, but that’s unlikely to happen because there are no funds and the infrastructure or the stability to have the process go ahead.
Same in Central African Republic, frankly it’s a mess, and unless there’s some proactive foreign intervention the rebel groups there will likely continue their lawlessness.
Then there is the Democratic Republic of Congo, the recent attacks on peace keepers there, will likely foursome action from the United Nations, bit any action will only be limited in terms of results because if the size of the country and number of armed groups operating there. The public uprisings in DRC will continue; President Kabila is still trying to remain in power and that is feeling the violent demonstrations which could get worse.
It’s a similar case in Togo, where there are calls in change of leadership. And Cameroon, where there are protests in Anglophone region. What’s key is how the local security forces respond. The difference however is that the Togolese authority seem somewhat more open to dialogue than the Cameroonians.
An eye needs to be kept on Ethiopia, were anti-government protesters are spreading and there’s growing mistrust among key elements of the ruling coalition. In essence, these key areas in Central and East Africa would need to prioritize on peace and se Of course Africa is a vast unpredictable continent but these would be the key issues to look in 2018.