5 conflict hotspots in Africa and how their economies have been affected

5 conflict hotspots in Africa and how their economies have been affected in 2021
  • Whether it be insurgency, militancy, outright terrorism or war, many African countries have had their share of conflicts.
  • In Ethiopia, many people have died and others displaced as the government tries to regain control of the Tigray Region.
  • In Nigeria, terrorism, banditry, kidnappings and secessionist moves have continued to fuel conflicts.

In recent times, Ethiopia has been in the news a lot, albeit for all the wrong reasons. At the point in 2021, the Horn of Africa country was reportedly at risk of being completely destablised due to armed conflict. Unfortunately, the conflict has yet to abate. And the country isn't the only one in Africa facing similar crises.

Across the continent, there are many conflict hotspots. Whether it be an insurgency, agitations for resource control, militancy, outright terrorism or full-blown wars, the truth is that many groups have taken to arms to antagonise different African states. And these African states have responded to the antagonism with brute force, thereby leading to conflicts that are steadily spiraling out of control.

In this article, we shall be looking at the to five conflict hotspots in Africa, focusing on how the economies in these regions have been affected by said conflicts.

1. The Ethiopian Conflict

Since 2017, there has quite a number of active conflicts and secluded killings across Ethiopia. At this point, it's almost difficult to keep count of all the deaths. The conflicts seemed to have heightened in 2021, following a military offensive against the Tigray Region by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government.

As you may already know, the conflict between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces began after the ruling party requested that the country's election board should cancel an already scheduled 2020 general election, in view of the health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The request was vehemently opposed by the Tigrayans, who went ahead to organised elections for their region. Apparently, the Ethiopian government perceived this as some sort of secessionist had chosen to exercise absolute powers to maintain the territorial integrity of the country.

Since November 2020 till date, both the military and Tigrayan forces have fought actively. And just last month, there were invasion threats on the capital city of Addis Ababa. In response, many Western countries advised their citizens to leave the country, even as some companies also flew out some of their workers. In the meantime, businesses and diplomatic missions have continued to be affected by the ongoing conflict.

Note that Ethiopia is a very important country in Africa. It is considered the only African country that was never colonised. It is also Africa's second most populous country besides Nigeria. More so, the headquarters of the Africa Union is located there. So, it is very important to resolve the conflict before it gets out of hands.

2. Civil War in Cameroon

Unlike the media spotlight on the Ethiopian conflict, the ongoing civil war in Cameroon doesn't really get a lot of media reportage. And that is mainly due to the government's alleged efforts to hide the carnage from the rest of the world. This notwithstanding, the truth remains that Southern Cameroon has been in turmoil for many months now. There have been allegations of genocide, rape and other atrocities as the government forces continue to battle separatists in Anglophone territories of Ambazonia.

3. Terrorism, banditry and secessionist agitations in Nigeria

For years, Boko Haram terrorists have been terrorising Northern Nigeria. They went from burning places of worship to kidnapping school children and then amassing territories and displacing many people in the process. And then they were incidents of armed herdsmen who often clashed with farmers over destruction of farmlands by cows.

In 2021 however, the biggest challenge has been that of kidnappings. Interestingly, both the terrorists and bandits have been fingered as responsible for this trend. Unfortunately, no one has been spared; from innocent secondary school children in their boarding schools to universities and of course travelers on the dangerous highways crisscrossing the country.

Meanwhile, in the Eastern part of the country, secessionists have burnt police stations and election offices as part of their agitation. It has really been a difficult year of conflicts for Nigeria. And this has resulted in serious economic woes, especially for the average Nigerians who have been impacted directly.

4. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

For many years, the DRC has hardly experienced any peace of peace. It's been one conflict or the other since the first and second civil wars were fought between 1996 and 2003. The conflicts have been fueled by agitations for political control and natural resources.

5. Terrorism in Mozambique

This country in Southern Africa has had a pretty rough year. So many factors, including terrorism natural disaster, have combined to kill hundreds and displaced nearly one million people, even as millions more have been at risk of famine. Earlier in the year, the United Nations said Mozambique is facing a humanitarian catastrophe “beyond epic proportions.”


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