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As 2021 came to a close, the Wilson Center Africa Program continued its annual tradition of asking policymakers, practitioners, scholars, and Africa watchers to reflect on what they considered to be the year’s most impactful developments on the African continent, in U.S.-Africa relations, and about Africa’s role in the global arena. Our contributors responded with 27 mini-essays covering a broad range of topics in the governance, security, development, and social spheres.

This year marks the sixth edition of the Africa: Year in Review series and encompasses a collection of essays that present brief analyses on many of the continent’s most significant developments in political, economic, and social affairs. Many developments stood out over the year, with our contributors reflecting on topics ranging from civil unrest and corruption to sustainable development efforts.

We thank all of the contributors for this year's volume. We had a wide range of experts and practitioners write for the publication this year, and we are grateful for their expertise on the variety of topics. These key developments resonated across Africa and its relations with rest of the world. 

As you read these mini-essays, we ask you to join the Wilson Center Africa Program in reflecting on the developments highlighted, challenges faced, and solutions offered that we hope will educate, inform, and serve as inspiration to propel the continent forward in 2022.

We hope that you enjoy reading and sharing this edition of Africa: Year in Review! Feel free to tag us on social media using @AfricaUpClose and #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.



Joseph Asunka

Chief Executive Officer at Afrobarometer based in Accra, Ghana.
Christopher Maloney Headshot

Christopher Maloney

Global Fellow;
Senior Director for Strategy and Business Development, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) at the UN Foundation

Thomas P. Sheehy

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

Margaret Wamuyu Muthee

Chief Analyst for the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation
Olusola Isola

Olusola Isola

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Senior Lecturer in Peace, Security and Humanitarian Studies Department, University of Ibadan, Nigeria    

Major General Andrew Rohling

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

Joseph Siegle

Director for Research, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
Maame Esi Eshun

Maame Esi Eshun

Former Southern Voices Network Scholar;
Regulatory Research Analyst at the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, Ghana

Osei Baffour Frimpong

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Lead Regional Researcher and Conflict Analyst, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Ghana

Sophia Moestrup

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

Ida Sawyer

Former Public Policy Fellow;
Deputy Director for Africa, Human Rights Watch
Oge Onubogu Headshot

Oge Onubogu

Director, Africa Program
Cyril Obi

Cyril Obi

Program Director, African Peacebuilding Network, Social Science Research Council
Helen Kezie-Nwoah

Helen Kezie-Nwoha

Executive director, Women's International Peace Centre (Uganda)
Jennyfer Jimenez

Jennyfer Jimenez

Former Director's Office Intern

Kristen O’Connell

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

Donna A. Patterson

Former Fellow;
Professor, Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy, Delaware State University
Robert I. Rotberg

Robert I. Rotberg

Former Fellow;
Founding Director of the Intrastate Conflict Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Nii Akuetteh

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

Vivian Lowery Derryck

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

Theodore Powers

Africanist Doctoral Candidate Fellow;
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Iowa
Dr. Raymond Gilpin speaks at SWF 2022

Raymond Gilpin

Chief Economist, Regional Bureau for Africa, United Nations Development Programme, New York
Deirdre LaPin

Deirdre LaPin

Former Fellow;
Senior Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania
Cheri Ayers Headshot

Cheri Ayers

Former Communications Coordinator

Elem Eyrice Tepeciklioğlu

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

Catharine Helmers

Former Program Assistant

K. Riva Levinson

President and CEO, KRL International LLC.

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