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Africa: Year in Review 2020

AYIR 2020
AYIR 2020

From the COVID-19 pandemic to popular protests, civil unrest, and democratic backsliding, 2020 was quite the year! This year’s Africa: Year in Review 2020 is a special edition, marking the fifth year since the launch of the series. The Wilson Center Africa Program continued its annual tradition of asking policymakers, scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders to examine the top developments in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations for 2020. Our contributors responded with the brief and insightful essays in this volume.  

We thank them for their contributions, which provide analysis on topics including the 2020 U.S. election results; COVID-19 diplomacy and mitigation; popular protests and the rise of African youth activists; Niger’s peaceful transfer of power; the military coup in Mali; the role of sovereign wealth funds in promoting sustainable development; and the importance of utilizing African knowledge and traditional medicine to combat COVID-19 and address the continent’s health needs, among other topics. 

We hope that you enjoy reading and sharing this volume! Feel free to tag us on social media using @AfricaUpClose #AfricaYearInReview. 

The statements made and views expressed are solely those of the authors and do not represent the views or official positions of the Wilson Center.



Alan Boswell

Senior Analyst, International Crisis Group

Nii Akuetteh

Former Executive Director, African Immigrants Caucus, and Former Lecturer, George Washington University

Judd Devermont

Africa Program Director, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Thomas P. Sheehy

Former Staff Director, Africa Subcommittee, House of Representatives and, Principal, Quinella Global LLC.

Vivian Lowery Derryck

President and CEO of the Bridges Institute, Former Assistant Administrator for Africa, USAID

Alex Vines

Research Director and Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House

Joseph Siegle

Director for Research, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University

Gregory Kearns

Africa Division Director, International Republican Institute (IRI)

Sophia Moestrup

Deputy Director, Central and West Africa at the National Democratic Institute (NDI)

Ladan Affi

Assistant Professor, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

Aili Mari Tripp

Former Fellow;
Wangari Maathai Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Michele Fabiola Lawson

Michele Fabiola Lawson

Former Staff Intern
Adesoji Adelaja

Adesoji Adelaja

Global Fellow;
John A Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics

K. Riva Levinson

President and CEO, KRL International LLC.

Major General Andrew Rohling

Commanding General, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force-Africa.

Anthony Carroll

Vice President, Manchester Trade, Ltd.

Kristen O’Connell

Governance and Partnerships Coordinator, Global Community Engagement and Resilience (GCERF)

Marisa O. Ensor

Research Professor, Justice and Peace Studies Program and Institute for the Study of International Migration, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Kamissa Camara

Founder, Sahel Strategy Forum and Former Foreign Minister of Mali    

Ambassador J. Peter Pham

Fmr. United States Special Envoy for the Sahel and Great Lakes Regions of Africa; Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council
Hannah Beckett Akuiyibo

Hannah Akuiyibo

Former Senior Program Associate
Monique Walker

Monique Walker

Staff Intern (Director's Office)
George Boateng

George Boateng

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Research Analyst, African Center for Economic Transformation

Beatrice Oforiwaa Dankyi

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, University of Ghana
Ian Gorecki

Ian Gorecki

Program Assistant

Viola Llewellyn

Co-Founder and President, Ovamba Solutions, Inc.

Liz Kitoyi

Co-Founder and CEO, Baobab Consulting

Garnett Achieng’

Marketing Manager, Baobab Consulting

Thomas S. Jayne

University Foundation Professor, Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University

Louise Fox

Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley

Keith Fuglie

Senior Economist, Bureau of Resilience and Food Security, USAID

Adam Dixon

Associate Professor in Economic Geography, University of Bristol

Munashe Matambo

Ph.D. candidate, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg

Yusuf Kenan Küçük

Former Turkish diplomat (served in Sudan and the United Kingdom)

Elem Eyrice Tepeciklioğlu

Faculty Member, International Law Implementation and Research Center, Yasar University, Turkey

Gregory Gondwe

Professor, Journalism and Media Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder

Lawrence Kamanga

Educator and, master’s student, Mulungushi University, Zambia
Gamuchirai Mhute Headshot

Gamuchirai Mhute

Former Program Associate

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and US-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial US-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in US-Africa relations.    Read more