Over the past two decades, the rapid emergence and spread of both local and transnational extremist organisations has become a primary source of insecurity in Africa. Extremist organisations represent the fluid and variable nature of conflict systems today and are at the heart of some of Africa’s most enduring conflicts. Moreover, the inability of African states to contain the threat of extremism, or of heavy-handed security responses, has led to the loss of thousands of lives, displaced millions, and deeply impacted the continent’s democratisation and development goals.
This is the second anthology published by Good Governance Africa (GGA) on the topic of extremism and political violence in Africa. Extremisms in Africa, one of the first anthologies of its kind on this topic to be authored - and published - on the African continent, provided an account of how extremist groups arose in Africa and the various ways in which they have harnessed their global agendas to local conflict dynamics and structural challenges, enabling them to exploit the grievances of individuals and communities for their cause.
This anthology, Extremisms in Africa Volume 2, looks forward, giving special attention to the ways in which emergent trends, global geopolitics and conflict dynamics merge to impact upon the African continent. To this end, we have sought to engage diverse topics ranging from ecological concerns surrounding climate change and migration, the implications of such human movement for modern-day trafficking and slavery, and the roles of women and youth.
State responses to extremisms on the African continent are not uniform; the capacity of individual states to detect/identify, police, investigate and prosecute is highly variable. At the most fundamental level, extremisms are ripe to arise in contexts where governments are failing, especially when democracy is on the wane.
This anthology identifies some of the most pressing challenges in addressing extremisms today and provides chapters that could offer actionable policy insights to governments and civil society. Given the nature of Africa’s geopolitical landscape, state and security services alone cannot prevent extremism. It will take a ‘whole-of-society’ approach, where government, civil society, academia, communities, families, and individuals collaborate to better understand the local dynamics of recruitment and radicalisation and develop context-specific strategies in response. This anthology will hopefully provide practitioners with improved insight into some of the key challenges and potential solutions in preventing extremism, while also being of interest to the general reader.