African states and societies are undergoing profound transformations. In an increasing number of countries, ever-younger populations demand political change. External actors such as China or Russia intensify their engagement on the continent. The number and scale of armed conflicts are on the rise, particularly in the northern half of Africa.
Global megatrends are driving or influencing such processes of transformation on the African continent. Megatrends are long-term structural changes that largely escape political control. They have profound effects on social, economic, and political orders. Examples include climate change, digitalisation, urbanisation, and shifts in global power relations.
In the project “Megatrends Afrika: Strukturelle Transformation und internationale Zeitenwende”, we, the project team, explore how megatrends affect African states and societies. We seek to develop ideas for German and European cooperation with African partners that help to make ongoing transformations fairer and more sustainable. This is all the more important as Africa is rising on the agenda of German and European policymakers, as does their need for evidence-based policy advice.
We are currently focussing our research on three areas:
Megatrends Africa is a joint project of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the German Institute for Development and Sustainability (IDOS), and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). Our project cooperates with the Kiel Institute Africa Initiative.
The project’s researchers adhere to the generally accepted principles for ensuring good scientific practice. All project publications are subject to an internal written internal peer review process. In case of our blog series MTA spotlight, the reviewing procedure is conducted through the project director affiliated with the author's organisation. Furthermore the Policy Briefs are subjected to a fact-checking process.
We produce policy-relevant research on major political, social, and economic trends in Africa. The team brings together scholars from both continents and different disciplines. Our aim is to exchange, take on, and critically question different perspectives. We do so at workshops with representatives from academia, politics, and civil society, through our publications, as well as here on the blog of our website. This way, we wish to contribute to a more nuanced public debate on Africa.
As an interdepartmentally financed research and advisory project, we receive funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Federal Ministry of Defence.
Niger galt bis zum 26. Juli 2023 als letzter Stabilitätsanker im Sahel. Nun hat sich die vom Westen ausgebildete Armee an die Macht geputscht – und findet dafür Rückhalt in großen Teilen der Bevölkerung. Spannungen im Umgang mit der Sicherheitskrise sowie ein Legitimationsdefizit der Regierung haben den Staatsstreich begünstigt und zu seinem Erfolg beigetragen.
In the context of the renewed efforts to rethink Europe’s approach towards the African continent, as well as the continuing deterioration of security in the Sahel and the northern parts of the countries around the Gulf of Guinea, fresh approaches are needed to address the spread and roots of jihadism. In this Megatrends Afrika Spotlight, Jonathan Guiffard, Senior Fellow at the Institut Montaigne highlights the importance of modernising the agricultural sector as a key pathway towards to more inclusive development.
While public engagement has contributed to enhancing social justice in Nakuru City, Kenia, challenges in improving governance effectiveness and legitimacy persist. This is due to limited responsiveness of local elites, political and legal loopholes, and restricted public participation.
While Niger’s pre-coup government took measures to control the self-defense militia garde nomade in Tahoua, it neglected the zankai in Tillabéri. European policymakers must understand the risks posed by the emergence of ethnic militias. Niger’s transition government should learn from its predecessor.
Can developing countries emulate China’s development model? New research based on Afrobarometer survey data reveals surprising insights into popular perceptions. Education, gender, the rural-urban divide and China's economic influence play key roles.
The effectiveness of UN peacekeeping in Africa is increasingly being questioned and its legitimacy put to the test. Complex warfare, unrealistic mandates and geopolitical rivalries are hampering progress. Can the UN and AU pave the way for a new era of peacekeeping?