This paper first presented the current trends of violence and instability in Africa and then modelled alternative future trends – these are uncertain and do not purport to be accurate predictions. In this paper it is speculated that the levels of armed conflict in Africa are sensitive to global developments, possibly because of the marginal position that the continent occupies politically and economically, and because of the potential multiplier effect that limited and poor governance has in many African countries. Over time, the nature of political armed violence in Africa has changed. Unlike other regions, Africa experiences a high level of so-called ‘non-state conflict’, or conflict between various armed groups and factions that are fighting one another, and not the state. This type of violence is almost certainly due to weak and unconsolidated governance, which characterises many African countries and which allows for the ready translation of political competition into violence.