By - Jamel Lahiani
Countries in Africa are suffering from conflict crisis contributed by diverse factors. The objective of this article is to identify these factors and how the conflict can be stopped in order to establish a good economic environment favourable to development and peace in the continent.
Factors that contribute to regional conflict in Africa can be divided into two: Externals factors and Domestic factors.
The external factor is driving the civil war in Libya. This factor is considered a “shadow factor” in all African regions due to the colonialist past of the continent. In fact, African countries suffered from the looting of wealth from mining and oil resources from their colonialists. Recently, the neocolonialist orientation of the USA and some Europeans countries aim not only to control African wealth and resources but also to find markets to sell high-priced weapons with very high added value to enhance their exportation and economic performances. This neo-mercantilist orientation of the occidental countries has a negative impact to the development of all African countries.
The domestic factors can be explained by inequality, state-led discrimination and poor development that are likely to continue to fuel grievances and instability in regions in African countries. We can distinguish some Countries with high demographic risk and political violence: Sudan, Nigeria, the DRC, Somalia, South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR). Others countries with risk for instability associated with poor development are: South Sudan, CAR, Somalia and Burundi. The Southern Africa and North African countries except Libya remain the region with low vulnerability to risk for instability related to demographic risk, political violence and poor development.
The regime type is also a key domestic factor that can also heighten the risk of instability. Studies have shown that, mixed regime types are much more unstable than either democracies or autocracies and are particularly vulnerable to regime change. At the same time, poor democracies such as that seen in Malawi could be more unstable than any type of autocratic regime. Instability can also arise when relatively democratic countries have large youth bulges, such as Kenya.
Other factors are related to population issues in fact, many Africans countries have this issue with a large population of marginalized young people usually characterized by lack of opportunities which arises from poor policy making and failing economic development. The Sub-Saharan Africa countries with low levels of GDP per capita; slow GDP per capita growth and low life expectancy are more prone to instability.
The identification of instability factors even if they are complex is capital to success in conflict prevention; peace building efforts and long-term development and can help identify opportunities for investment in African Countries.
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