CSP Logo Political Instability in Africa


This study was initially commissioned by the African Telematics program at CIDCM (University of Maryland), with funding from USAID, in order to better understand the sources and drivers of instability in African countries and the crucial role of communications technologies in development and stabilization processes. The results of the study were originally published in Section 7, "Focus on Political Instability in Africa," Peace and Conflict 2005 and further elaborated in a special report commissioned by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) titled, Conflict Trends in Africa, 1946-2004 (electronic copies of both publications are available from the CSP Virtual Library, click here). The basis for the analysis is the demarcation of periods of stability, state formation instability, and post-formation instability for each country in Africa. The individual country plots of instability events and the demarcation of periods of stability and instability are posted here as support documentation for the reported analysis and findings. The diagram below reproduces figure 7.4 from the Peace and Conflict 2005 report and charts the general condition of African countries as they gain independence during the post-World War II "decolonization" period; only four countries in Africa gained independence in the modern state system prior to 1946 (Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia, and South Africa). To view the individual country plots of political instability events and the periods of stability and instability demarcated for the Africa study, click on a country in the map below. Note: The blue dots in the diagram below locate the capital city in each country. The territory of the former-Spanish Sahara, presently claimed by Morocco, is not included in the analyses.

Political Instability in African Countries





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Algeria Morocco Tunisia Libya Egypt Mauritania Mali Burkina Faso Niger Chad Sudan Eritrea Djibouti Ethiopia Somalia The Gambia Senegal Guinea Bissau Guinea Sierra Leone Liberia Ivory Coast Ghana Togo Benin Nigeria Cameroon Central African Republic Equatorial Guinea Gabon Congo (Brazzaville) Democratic Republic of Congo Uganda Kenya Rwanda Burundi Tanzania Angola Zambia Malawi Namibia Botswana Zimbabwe Mozambique South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Madagascar Comoros Mauritius