Development and Peace Blog

Transnational Governance & Contestation

15.03.2021   Arne Rieber “Rush on miraa” - The development dilemma of khat cultivation in the Mount Kenya region

The cultivation of khat is an increasingly politicised topic in Kenya, affecting trade, foreign affairs and local politics. Only recently, Somalia, the largest importer of Kenyan khat, ended a ban on khat imports from Kenya. The conflict between the two countries dates back to 2016, when then Meru County governor Peter Munya travelled to Somaliland, hoping to tap a new market for Kenyan khat traders in return for recognising Somaliland. For now, the conflict seems to be solved at the diplomatic level. The effects of such diplomatic turmoil are, however, most significantly felt by the many khat producing farmers.

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22.02.2021   Markus Bayer Insubordinate youth and resilient elites: How the second & third liberation movements performed in the recent elections in Namibia and Uganda

The recent elections in Namibia and Uganda are telling indicators for the growing generational tensions between aging paternalistic elites and a youth striving for prosperity and democratic participation in many African states - and they are a wake-up call for more international attention. A growing part of Africa’s young societies is no longer willing to accept the past deeds of having liberated the country from colonialism or dictatorship as legitimization for nepotism and failures to provide services and development. Instead, the support for second/third liberation movements is rising.

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25.01.2021   Markus Bayer Private military companies and African security governance: Can the revival of a well-known actor change security arrangements in Africa?

A few years ago, it seemed that a new Russian interventionism would replace the Western one. After their engagement in Syria, which bolstered Assad’s rule and the successful annexation of the Crimea, Russia seemed to be capable and willing to stretch their sphere of influence through military interventions. Key to these endeavors were private military companies (PMC) like the Slavonic Corps or the Wagner Group. Now, a well-known PMC reentered the stage that could challenge not only Russian but also Western rivals and could induce an Africanization of Security Governance in Africa. On 7 December 2020 Eeben Barlow – a former South African commandant and military contractor – announced the reactivation of Executive Outcomes (EO). To assess the transformative potential of this reactivation for African security governance, it is helpful to consider the past engagement of other PMCs on the African continent, especially the failure of the Wagner Group.

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