State and Nonstate Forces in Africa

Three factors tend to pull outsiders in.

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Forces Present in Africa
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Throughout the past century, sub-Saharan Africa has more often than not either been largely ignored by outside powers or functioned uneasily as a proxy space for outside powers’ various battles. Three things tend to pull outside powers in: There‘s of course the continent’s abundance of natural resources, from oil to minerals to timber to, more recently, undeveloped farmland. There are concerns about nonstate threats spawning from the continent’s many ungoverned spaces, particularly jihadism. Finally, there’s the global great-power competition that spills into the continent. All three pull factors are currently in play, leading to a surge of attention from several heavy hitters and aspiring powers alike – and, perhaps inevitably, a more crowded military environment.

Geopolitical Futures (GPF) was founded in 2015 by George Friedman, international strategist and author of The Storm Before the Calm and The Next 100 Years. GPF is non-ideological, analyzes the world and forecasts the future using geopolitics: political, economic, military and geographic dimensions at the foundation of a nation.