How can we assure Africa’s Boom?

It is hard to argue with Charles Roberston’s excellent lecture on TED, “Africa’s Next Boom”, that Africa is going to become a booming economic power house (please watch his short presentation). I personally am extremely bullish on Africa’s potential. Note though the word potential. Africa unfortunately has many issues. One of these is that it has become, again, a battle ground between developed nations such as China, Russian, the US, Europe, and other countries working to obtain access to the many resources that Robertson discusses. Not just oil and minerals but low cost skilled labor. Perhaps just as worrying as potential predation by mercantilistic countries such as China or abusive mega corporations is the spread of radical/militant Islamic organizations or racist/nationalistic terror organizations. Such unchecked conflict creates the potential, as it has in many African nations, of totally undermining any potential social, cultural, and economic gains generated by positive trends of increased life expectation, increased education, and trade that Roberston mentions. As such it suggests that the US has a role to play in assisting and helping African nations with their security concerns. How the US goes about that though will require great finesses, patience, and intelligence. Something we have not often shown in the past. As such how do you, our savvy and intelligent readers, think the US can help support African security?

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A Violent Non-State Actors Reading List At al-Wasat – الوسط

A pretty good reading list on Violent Non-State Actors at al-Wasat. Furthermore al-Wasat is a excellent blog on terrorism and worthy and analysts or security specialists time. That being said I believe that The Terrorist’s Dilemma is a book that should be on any terrorism reading list or syllabus.

Heatmap of African security issues

Africa is the first region, or “microsite,” that DigitalGlobe is looking at. Based on data collected from the satellites, a team of geospatial analysts gleans insights about geographic patterns, infrastructure, illegal activity, humanitarian crises, economics, demographics, food and water security, weather, major events, and even ethnic tribal boundaries. They built an interactive map where you can see that oil theft is a major threat in Nigeria or that the Lord’s Resistance Army is causing population displacement in Central Africa.