State of Peace and Security in Africa 2019
There is a sense of déjà vu that 2019 may replay several of the key trends that were predominant in 2018, as subsequent chapters in this Report indicate. For instance, three out of four African citizens now live in countries where governance has improved significantly. This does not however imply that Elections in Africa are no longer characterised by drama, absurdities and violence but that such anomalies have diminished compared with the experiences of several countries in the immediate past. Another important point to note is that in a number of African countries- Mozambique, Angola, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria, for instance, the quest to put in place credible anti-corruption initiatives have not relented; whether in direct response to public demand or open agitations for greater accountability on the part of government. Again, the results have been mixed. One distinctive trend, according to Transparency International, was that a handful of smaller countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Seychelles, Botswana, and Cape Verde, and more recently, Sierra Leone, have made progress in the fight against corruption due to political will and “the positive consequences of legal, policy and institutional reforms. The “decliners”, on the other hand, especially Burundi, Congo, Mozambique, Sudan, and Somalia, are countries where political rights, rule of law, and press freedom are dwindling or compounded by internal conflicts and instability. A final key milestones in 2018 was the adoption of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at the Extraordinary Session of the AU Assembly held in Kigali, Rwanda, on 21st March. At the time of completing this Report, in April 2019, the mandatory 22 countries required for the Agreement to take effect had been reached. It is estimated that AfCFTA would lead to a single market worth at least $2.3 trillion across 55 countries.