Global Diary

Africa’s X — Xenophobia

What role do boundaries play in African conflict?

What role do boundaries play in African conflict?


There is an understandable tacit agreement among African governments not to open the Pandora's box of international border disputes.

This doesn't mean that Africa is free of armed international conflicts. Far from it. All it means is that borders haven't shifted.

Clearly, political and ethnic boundaries do not coincide. The vast majority of African countries are multi-ethnic. And they have economic, religious and other differences (or perceived differences) that can flare up between ethnic groups.

Against this background, the one surprising thing is that, given the potential for serious strife, there has been relatively little violent conflict.

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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

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