Photo: UN/Stuart Price.

Increasing militarization in Africa

Why are more and more resources spent to militarize Africa? Twenty conflict and security researchers will discuss this question in a two-day workshop at NAI.

Many African leaders and civil servants have expressed that that the African Union (AU) must become owner of its own destiny in terms of peace and security. However, almost 90 percent of the AU's budget comes from external funding. The member states only finance AU to a very small extent, which in practice means that African countries only have limited power over their own organization.

"This raises the question of whether Africa's militarization is driven externally or internally. It is probably not wrong to assume that security interests of donors are reflected in what AU does in terms of security. Fighting Islamist terrorism, for example, is placed high on the agenda at the expense of other conflict prevention measures”, NAI researcher Mikael Eriksson points out.

NAI researcher Mikael Eriksson.

The security situation in Africa continues to appear gloomy. Last year 19 ongoing armed conflicts in Africa, were registered by the Swedish-based research institute SIPRI. A higher figure than in any other continent. The size of arms imports, however, do not stand out as particularly high, something which Eriksson says relates to the limited economic resources of many African countries.

“However, there seems to be a link between national income and degree of militarization. A richer country spends more on the military budget. Nigeria and South Africa are the biggest spenders, says Mikael Eriksson.

TEXT: Johan Sävström


Read more about the workshop 22-23 November.



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