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Sub-Saharan Africa

Mauritania’s Extremism Problem

Despite Mauritania’s immense mineral and fishery resources, it’s ranked 159th out of 189 countries in the United Nations’ human development index. Its population of...

From Pandemic to Pan-shortages

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With some notable and grave exceptions, the COVID-19 crisis is winding down for much of the world. But as it does, another problem is...

Spain’s Grand Plans in Africa

It wasn’t so long ago, historically speaking, that Spain was a great power. It ruled much of the Americas, dominated the Atlantic Ocean and...

On the Nile Dam, Egypt Plays a Weak Hand

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been billed as a transformational project for Ethiopia, where currently some 60 percent of the population does not...

Egypt’s Last Chance

What options does a nation have when its future depends on another country’s decisions about a resource the other country controls? That’s what Egypt...

The World in 2021

Introduction Our 2020 global forecast began as follows: Economic dysfunction will remain the main driver of the international system in 2020. Economic stress does not simply...

Forecast Tracker: 2020 Year-End Review

(click to enlarge) Scale: Hit, Partial Hit, Inconclusive, Partial Miss, Miss Global Economic dysfunction will be the main driver of the international system in 2020. Economic stress...

The Geopolitics of Vaccine Distribution

The American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, in collaboration with German firm BioNTech, surprised the world when it announced that its coronavirus vaccine showed 90 percent...

Brief: The Implications of Ethiopian Unrest

Background: In Ethiopia, regional administrative divisions are drawn largely along ethnic lines, so political unrest, too, tends to be defined by these divisions, often...

Brief: Egypt and Sudan Enter Ethiopian Dam Talks

Background: Egypt and Sudan have been entrenched in a tense standoff over water, their shared border and the partition of Sudan for years. But...

After Brexit, the UK Pivots to Africa

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(click to enlarge) To prepare for a post-Brexit world, the U.K. has been reorienting its trade and investment patterns. As such, it is increasingly looking...

The Trouble With a Premature Vaccine

Hope is beginning to fade that the world will have a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine before the predicted “second wave” arrives that will...

Vaccine Nationalism Is an Exaggerated Threat

Nationalism is all the rage these days. Following decades of globalization, the pendulum has begun to swing back the other direction, triggering fears that...

Will the Coronavirus Forge a Brave New World?

Of all the major geopolitical players on the planet, Mother Nature may be the toughest adversary. Nature has neither imperatives nor constraints to guide...

Mother Nature as a Geopolitical Force

History is biased, and not just because the victors tend to write it. The study of history is largely the study of humankind –...

Four Coronavirus Lessons That We Will (or Won’t) Learn

How would we respond differently if another outbreak happened?

Recent Articles

European colonization of Africa disrupted the development of nation-states and imposed artificial borders that set the stage for recurring conflict.

These modern nation-states are therefore very young and institutionally immature.

Sub-Sahara Africa typically serves as a secondary theater for tensions between stronger powers.

South Africa has the potential to be a regional power despite its economic difficulties. Two other candidates are Nigeria and Ethiopia.

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Required Reads: Sub-Saharan Africa

From our 2021 Forecast...

The biggest challenge facing countries in this region will be getting access to the covid-19 vaccine and logistical challenges related to inoculation campaigns.

Sub-Saharan Africa in our Memos

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Latest Posts

Russia Stays Out of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israel and the Palestinian territories are engaged in their most intense bout of fighting in years, and there’s a major power not too far...

Understanding the Five Eyes

What does intelligence cooperation look like in an increasingly technological world? Christian Smith, Allison Fedirka, and Phillip Orchard discuss the mysteries and misunderstandings about the world’s foremost intelligence alliance.

The US and Norway Get Closer

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(click to enlarge) Last month, the United States and Norway signed an updated defense deal called the Supplementary Defense Cooperation Agreement. It allows the U.S....

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