Promoting Democracy and Security in Africa: Don’t Forget Cities

An Issue Brief published by the Soufan Center, authored by Eric Rosand, Executive Director & Daniel Hooton, Head of International Programmes of the Strong Cities Network Management Unit.

7 February 2022

Speaking in Abuja last fall, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken implored African governments to enact reforms in response to their citizens’ demands for better governance. The ongoing crises in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Burkina Faso together with recent allegations of Nigerian police brutality and a growing awareness of the connections between weak or failed governance and terrorism and other political violence across the continent underscore the need for change. Communities across Africa are facing a hybridized set of threats—radicalization and militancy are driving polarization and division, and the mainstreaming of disinformation, conspiracies, and extremism are threatening democratic values and institutions, and opening opportunities for foreign actors to further exploit these dynamics. These increasingly intertwined threats to security and the social fabric have only been exacerbated during the global pandemic. 

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