Global Diary

Africa’s W — Wars

What is the cause of so many wars in Africa?

What is the cause of so many wars in Africa?


Africa’s natural boundary lies north of the Equator — and runs in an East/West fashion: North of it live Africa’s predominantly Muslim populations, south of it Christians and Animists.

But that is not how the continent’s geography evolved. Instead, the colonial powers drew "vertical" boundaries.
As a result, North/South low-grade ethnic conflicts — which erupt at times into full-blown protracted wars — are common in a belt ranging from Sudan in the east to Africa’s west coast.

In all these wars, you can find a strong relationship between access to cashflow from exports of diamonds, oil and other commodities on the one hand — and armed rebellion on the other.

Of course, this peculiarly destructive relationship exists worldwide. But unfortunately for Africa, the number of conflicts there has been rising, while it is declining in other regions.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About Guy Pfeffermann

Guy Pfeffermann is the Founder and CEO of the Global Business School Network. He was formerly the chief economist of the IFC. Follow him @GPfeffermann

Responses to “Africa’s W — Wars”

If you would like to comment, please visit our Facebook page.