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Challenges and opportunities

This book explores the evolving African security paradigm in light of the multitude of diverse threats facing the continent and the international community today and in the decades ahead. It challenges current thinking and traditional security constructs as woefully inadequate to meet the real security concerns and needs of African governments in a globalized world. The continent has becoming increasingly integrated into an international security architecture, whereby Africans are just as vulnerable to threats emanating from outside the continent as they are from home-grown ones. Thus, Africa and what happens there, matters more than ever. Through an in-depth examination and analysis of the continent’s most pressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges—from failing states and identity and resource conflict to terrorism, health, and the environment—it provides a solid intellectual foundation, as well as practical examples of the complexities of the modern African security environment. Not only does it assess current progress at the local, regional, and international level in meeting these challenges, it also explores new strategies and tools for more effectively engaging Africans and the global community through the human security approach.

Stephen Emerson and Hussein Solomon

-conventional capabilities. They have. More so than ever, African soldiers, sailors, and airmen are engaged in unilateral and multilateral counterterrorism, peacekeeping and stability, and humanitarian operations. They are actively involved in building roads, protecting the environment, fighting criminal networks, and supporting local health care efforts. Nonetheless, this begs the central question: Are they the best tool for the job? Moreover, if the human security approach requires facilitating individual and community involvement from the bottom up then this level of top-down military

in African security in the twenty-first century
Abstract only
Stephen Emerson and Hussein Solomon

often counterproductive. It is an imposed solution. It refuses to acknowledge the factors that fueled state collapse in the first place and hinders the evolution of domestic bottomup solutions. Attempting to build long-term security on such a shaky foundation is usually a recipe for disaster, resulting in ineffective and expensive peacekeeping and stability operations and decades of frustration. Just as elsewhere in the world, the record of international nation building in Africa is a poor one—for every Liberia or Sierra Leone success there is a seemingly unsolvable

in African security in the twenty-first century