Prospects for Africa's 26 Fragile Countries
"Africa is witnessing strong and sustained high levels of economic growth and an overall reduction in conflict across the continent. New natural resource exploitation, growing urbanisation and progress in human-development goals, such as education and health, generally suggest that the African Renaissance rhetoric is being met with reality. However, some countries experiencing conflict are caught in a vicious cycle of violence, chronic poverty, inequality and exclusion from the gains of growth. These countries – which we term the ‘more fragile’ states – are on a much slower trajectory to long-term peace and development. This policy paper provides an overview of a longer monograph that provides long-term forecasts of fragility in Africa. Using the International Futures system (IFs) data-analysis and forecasting tool, the paper provides a long-term forecast of 26 fragile African countries. They are chosen on the basis of comparative lists of fragile countries from indicators that reflect the fragility syndrome. In conducting the forecast, the authors argue that fragility should be understood as a syndrome, or set of related conditions, that operates in a system that is mutually reinforcing."