The Atlantic Council's Africa Center promotes dynamic geopolitical partnerships with African states and redirects US and European policy priorities towards strengthening security and promoting economic growth and prosperity on the continent.
The Africa Center provides thought leadership on emerging security, geopolitical, and economic challenges in Africa through congressional testimony, publications, briefings, events, and a robust media presence. The Center assists policymakers in addressing the complex security challenges facing Africa, including the problems of state collapse; humanitarian crises; piracy; the growing nexus between extremism and criminality in West Africa and the Sahel; the ongoing political transitions in North Africa; ongoing challenges in Central and Southern Africa; and the growing impact of Islamist extremism on African polities and economies. Within the context of the Atlantic Council's work to promote constructive US leadership and engagement in international affairs, the Center supports and collaborates with the public and private sectors in forging practical solutions to challenges and opportunities in Africa, especially those associated with the strong economic growth which many nations on the continent have experienced in recent years. The Center seeks to persuade policymakers and the public sector of the strategic importance of Africa while analyzing the efforts of new actors on the continent—including China, India, Brazil and Turkey—and their impact on US and European interests.
Over the course of the past year, the Africa Center has provided an important platform for assessing and revising US policy toward Sudan and South Sudan and has been at the cutting edge of analysis on the growth of extremism in the Sahel and West Africa as well as the fragile progress being made in Somalia. In addition to ongoing work on these specific geopolitical challenges, the Center's programming focuses on five policy initiatives.
Influencing African Security Policy
The Africa Center provides thought leadership on the emerging security and geopolitical challenges in Africa. The Center continues to be a leading voice on the problems of state collapse, humanitarian crises, piracy, the growing nexus between extremism and criminality in West Africa and the Sahel; the ongoing political transitions in North Africa; challenges in Central and Southern Africa, and the growing impact of Islamist extremism on African polities and economies.
Emerging Economic Powers in Africa
As Africa grows in strategic and economic relevance, emerging global and regional powers—including China, India, Brazil, and Turkey—have developed dynamic economic policies toward Africa while the United States has been slow to do the same. The Africa Center examines how the rise of other economic powers on the continent will impact not only African interests, but that of the United States and Europe.
Home to six of the world's fastest growing economies over the past decade, Africa is rapidly transforming into a powerful global economic force. The Africa Center seeks to expand awareness of Africa's buoyant economic prospects and examine the potential mutually beneficial outcomes for the United States and its European allies to invest strategically in the continent.
Conversations with African Leaders
The Africa Center has hosted the continent's top decision-makers and thinkers at its headquarters to inform and shape the public debate on the continent's most pressing issues. Previous guests have included President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo of Somaliland; former Prime Minister Raila Odinga of Kenya; Finance Minister Tendai Biti of Zimbabwe; Foreign Minister-Delegate Youssef Amrani of Morocco; Justice Minister Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe of South Africa; and Justice Minister Marou Amadou of Niger.
Leaders of Tomorrow
By 2025, one quarter of the world's working age population will be in Africa. The continent's youth, empowered by new technologies and looking to contribute fresh ideas to business and government sectors, possess a generational momentum that can help turn Africa into a global powerhouse. The Africa Center seeks to amplify the voice of the next generation by highlighting the catalytic potential of youth leadership on the continent, as well promote their constructive inclusion into African political and economic life.