March 26, 2008 Annual Convention of the International Studies Association
Resilience refers to the ability to rebound, maintain or strengthen functioning during and after a disturbance; to cope successfully in the face of extreme adversity or risk. In many cases where the term ´resilience´ is used, it is applied as a simple descriptor without analysis of why particular systems are resilient even when, by most accounts, they should not be. This paper provides (1) A framework for conceptualizing resilience with regard to vulnerable, fragile, and conflict prone states (in other words, what IS resilience and why is it relevant?) and (2) A small collection of case studies including Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Guinea and others which highlight particular adaptive strategies. The key argument of this research is that the nature of development strategies in such environments must
tend towards enhancing the capacity of local communities to self organize, by prioritizing experimentation and local ownership over project designs and outcomes....
June 1, 2006 Sciences Po // Center For Peace And Human Security
Situated in between Ghana and Benin, with a coastline of no more than 56km, Togo is one of Africa's smallest countries. However, what has habitually been a little talked about West African nation holds a long history of political unrest and has recently entered into a phase of instability in the beginning of 2005. Civil society members and organizations are now regrouped in the WANEP network, (West African Network for Peacebuilding) in a joint effort to set a national agenda toward reconciliation, peace and security and lead the way in facing Togo's unprecedented public health, development and education challenges....
"How is it in our nation's interest," asked U.S. Sen. Carl Levin recently, "to have civilian contractors, rather than military personnel, performing vital national security functions xe2x80xa6 in a war zone?" The answer lies in humanity's long history of contracting force and the changing role of today's private security firms. Even as governments debate how to hold them accountable, these hired guns are rapidly becoming indispensable to national militaries, private corporations, and nongovernmental groups across the globe....
Why has Africa had so much civil war? In all other regions of the world the incidence of civil war has been on a broadly declining trend over the past thirty years: but in Africa the long term trend has been upwards. Of course, every civil war has its xe2x80x98story' - the personalities, the social cleavages, the triggering events, the inflammatory discourse, the atrocities. But is there anything more? Are there structural conditions - social, political or economic - which make a country prone to civil war? Might it be that the same inflammatory politician, playing on the same social cleavages, and with the same triggering events, might xe2x80x98cause' war under one set of conditions and merely be an ugly irritant in another? Surprisingly, the dominant factors are economic. Three factors matter a lot for the risk of civil war: the level of income, its rate of growth, and its structure. If a country is poor, in economic decline, and is dependent upon natural resource exports, then it faces a substantial risk that sooner or later it will experience a civil war. ...
July 13, 2006 Project on International Courts and Tribunals // African International Courts and Tribunals
The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS/CEEAC) is an institution that exists solely as a possibility on paper. ECCAS was founded upon the decision of the members of the Central African Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC) to form a larger community by merging with the Economic Community of the Great Lakes States and a few other states. The Community began to operate, with the appointment of a Secretariat in 1985.
July 13, 2006 Project on International Courts and Tribunals // African International Courts and Tribunals
The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) is the continuation (envisioned in 1994) of the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UEAC/UDEAC) created in 1964. The CEMAC consists of two Unions, the Economic Union of Central Africa (UEAC) and the Monetary Union of Central Africa (UMAC). The Community Court of Justice is one of the organs of the overarching Community. One of the main goals of the CEMAC is the creation of a "true African Common Market." The Court is composed of a Judicial Chamber and Chamber of Auditors. Both chambers are functioning....
I consider it a singular honour to have been invited today by Chatham House
to address this august forum. The Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), which I represent, is a regional organisation which has,
over the years, gained your attention only for the unfortunate reasons of state
implosion and instability caused by bad governance and marginalisation. I
therefore welcome the opportunity to throw further light on its objectives,
challenges, and achievements, which factors have effectively brought
together fifteen West African states in the enterprise of improving upon the
living standards of 230 million people as well as integrating them.
The term ‘Chatham House Rule’ is today an internationally-accepted cliché
that this Institute has contributed to international diplomacy discourse, a
reference norm in rigorous and policy-oriented exchanges on global peace
and security. I therefore view your invitation to lead today’s discourse about
‘Democracy in the context of Regional Integration in West Africa’ as an
unique honour for me personally, and a recognition of ECOWAS as a leading
brand in regional integration.
Ladies and gentlemen, the evolution of ECOWAS can only be properly
understood against the backdrop of the fascinating history and circumstances
of West Africa since establishing contact with the world beyond its borders.
The fact that slavery, colonialism, as well as racial and economic
marginalisation, had left an intrinsic yearning for freedom, unity and solidarity
among peoples of African descent everywhere defines its wish to integrate its
states and peoples....
This special research report provides an analysis of a set of new issues that have been emerging in the West African subregion and possible implications for the Security Council in the coming year(s). It identifies some key emerging threats to peace and security in the 16-state subregion and their linkages to existing security challenges. The report points to a key feature: the fact that some of the new threats are essentially criminal rather than political in nature. However, it explains also the growing political and security implications. The report also highlights action already taken by the Council to recognise these threats and considers options available to the Council to tackle these issues going forward.
The raw material for the study was derived from literature research; field research in a number of countries in the West African subregion (including Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria); and interviews in the region with diplomats, government officials and officials of relevant international intergovernmental bodies (e.g. UN Office in West Africa or UNOWA, UN Office for Drugs and Crime or UNODC, the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS and the AU), NGOs and academics....
December 1, 2010 Atlantic Council of the United States // The Michael S. Ansari Africa Center // On the Horizon Project
This report presents the analysis and recommendations
of the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa
Center in cooperation with the On the Horizon Project
to advance U.S. strategic interests in West Africa. Unaddressed problems of poor governance, severe poverty,
widespread public corruption, and growing insecurity from the
presence of criminal and militant enterprises engaged in theft,
terrorism, trafficking, piracy, poaching, and pollution will
continue to punish local populations and create conditions
of instability that undermine public order from greater levels
of armed confl ict and mass migration and threaten the
reliable flow of oil from the region. As noted in a recent United
Nations report, the “combination of coups from the top and
insurgencies from below render West Africa in the opinion of
the UN the least politically stable region in the world.” While this report focuses on the maritime
domain, the Atlantic Council approaches the regional
security challenges from a broad perspective. Security
issues are holistic and must be addressed as such. The
dynamics and consequences of insecurity in the maritime
domain are part of a wider, more complex political and
security dynamic encompassing rule of law, governance,
public capacities, and economic and human development
across geographic, societal, and national domains. Just
as the causes, manifestations, and consequences
of insecurity are comprehensive, so too must be the
preventatives and remedies.
This document provides a broad strategic-level analysis
and corresponding recommendations for action that can,
and we believe should, be supported and implemented
by U.S. and allied policymakers, African leaders, and key
November 2, 2010 Institute for Security Studies // L'Institut d'Etudes de Sécurité
This paper aims to appraise and map the security challenges that have faced West African countries since independence with a special focus on the period after 1990. It also assesses the efforts made by various national, regional, continental and extra-African actors and makes suggestions on how the shortcomings in these efforts could be improved. An effort is made to show the evolution of at least some of the challenges over the years, in the hope that this could contribute to a better formulation of policy responses.
The study is based on extensive review of existing literature, complemented by field research in the region undertaken in July and August 2010, in addition to general familiarity with the region from many previous research visits on related subjects.
Without neglecting other issues that could be considered as security threats, and without attempting any hierarchical ordering of these threats, the paper focuses on the following six major issues: i) armed conflict, ii) military coups and unconstitutional changes of government; iii) mismanagement of electoral processes; iv) transnational criminality, particularly drug trafficking, terrorism and maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea; v) poverty and illiteracy; vi) climate change and environmental degradation....
The government of Equatorial Guinea has set new low standards of political and economic malfeasance in handling its billions of dollars in oil revenue instead of improving the lives of its citizens, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 107-page report, "Well Oiled: Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea," details how the dictatorship under President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has used an oil boom to entrench and enrich itself further at the expense of the country's people. Since oil was discovered there in the early 1990s, Equatorial Guinea's gross domestic product (GDP) has increased more than 5,000 percent, and the country has become the fourth-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, living standards for the country's 500,000 people have not substantially improved.
"Here is a country where people should have the per capita wealth of Spain or Italy, but instead they live in poverty worse than in Afghanistan or Chad," said Arvind Ganesan, director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "This is a testament to the government's corruption, mismanagement, and callousness toward its own people."...