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Africa's long-term prospects are positive: ISS at the African Union summit
28 January 2014

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Africa is making progress and there are reasons to be optimistic, the Institute for Security Studies said on Tuesday.

‘Although coming off a low base, many countries on the continent now have economic growth rates significantly in excess of global averages,’ ISS Executive Director Jakkie Cilliers said at a breakfast briefing at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Addis Ababa. ‘This will allow for changes in how external partners like the European Union, China and the United States engage with Africa,’ Cilliers added.

As part of the regular dialogues hosted by the ISS on the margins of each African Union summit, the briefing launched an in-depth study of long-term forecasts for 26 ‘more fragile’ states in Africa. Despite recent conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, authors Dr Jakkie Cilliers and Prof Timothy D Sisk concluded that the frequency and intensity of armed conflict has reduced since the early 1990s. New institutions and approaches to preventing conflict have been created and there have been recent gains in development on the continent.

Not all African countries share this positive trajectory, however. Using the International Futures forecasting system, the study found that ten of the 26 ‘more fragile’ countries are at risk of remaining mired in a fragility syndrome for several decades. ‘These countries are trapped in a cycle of poverty, inequality, violence and poor governance from which they cannot easily escape,’ explained Cilliers.

The full results are published in the latest ISS monograph available at:

Contact the following ISS experts in Addis Ababa for current analysis and commentary on the 22nd AU summit:

  • Jakkie Cilliers, Executive Director, ISS: +251 921378311
  • Amb Segun Akinsanya, Regional Representative and Senior Advisor, ISS Addis Ababa: +251 911507665
  • Dr Solomon Dersso, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Addis Ababa: +251 910426974
  • Dr Paul-Simon Handy, Head, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS: +27 82 903 2479
  • Hallelujah Lulie, Researcher, Peace and Security Council Report Programme, ISS Addis Ababa: +251 911673263


About the Institute for Security Studies

The ISS is an African organisation which aims to enhance human security on the continent. It does independent and authoritative research, provides expert policy analysis and advice, and delivers practical training and technical assistance.