Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham writes for The Hill on the common trends that will affect political and economic dynamics in Africa throughout 2016:

While each of Africa’s 54 independent states presents a different political and economic risk profile rooted in each country’s unique history and driven by diverse internal and regional dynamics, there are nonetheless several common trends which will broadly impact many of them in 2016.

Increasing terrorist violence. While the attacks in Paris at the beginning and end of 2015, which were linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), respectively received a great deal more attention in global media, it is in Africa where terrorism has been surging. In fact, the publication in mid-November of the annual “Global Terrorism Index” by the Institute for Economics and Peace provided statistical evidence that, in fact, it is the Nigerian group Boko Haram, which in March pledged its allegiance to ISIS and been branding itself as “Islamic State West Africa Province” (ISWAP) — an evolution I predicted this time last year — is “the most deadly terrorist group in the world.” The report counted 6,644 deaths caused by Boko Haram in 2014, an increase of more than three times the tally of just a year earlier. The toll meant that the Nigerian terrorists outdid their self-proclaimed caliph, the ISIS’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whose forces in Iraq and Syria killed 6,073 people in the same period. With continuing assaults like the rocket-propelled grenades and suicide bombers it unleased on Maiduguri and Madagali in northeastern Nigeria last week, killing more than 80 people in just one day, Boko Haram is likely to have retained its title as the globe’s deadliest terrorist group going into the new year.

Read the full article here.

Related Experts: J. Peter Pham