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As a reflection of the previous year, the Wilson Center Africa Program continued its annual tradition of asking policymakers, practitioners, scholars, and Africa watchers to write on what they considered the most impactful developments on the African continent, in U.S.-Africa relations, and about Africa’s role in the global arena. 37 authors contributed mini-essays covering various topics in the governance, security, development, and social spheres.

This year marks the seventh edition of the Africa: Year in Review (AYIR) 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 the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, recent elections on the continent, and sustainable development efforts.

AYIR has secured itself as the Wilson Center Africa Program’s most widely read publication—receiving over 25,000 views and downloads since its first edition in 2015. We thank all of the authors for their insightful contributions and the Africa Program team to help produce the biggest AYIR to date.

With 2023 officially underway, we ask you to join us in reflecting on the governance, security, and development challenges and opportunities from the previous year raised in these mini-essays in hopes of looking forward to the year ahead.

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.



Mark Stamillo Headshot

Mark Stamilio

Principal Director of African Affairs, United States Department of Defense
Mziwandile Ndlovu Headshot

Mziwandile Ndlovu

Research Scientist, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)

Deborah Carey

Former Program Assistant (Director’s Office);
International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce
Awet Halefom Kahsay Headshot

Awet Halefom Kahsay

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Ph.D. Candidate in Peace and Security Studies, Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Dr. Hyginus Banko Okibe headshot

Hyginus Banko Okibe

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Lecturer, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Department of Political Science

Joseph Siegle

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

Joseph Asunka

Chief Executive Officer at Afrobarometer based in Accra, Ghana.
Dalya Berkowitz Headshot

Dalya Berkowitz

Former Staff Intern
Christopher Maloney Headshot

Christopher Maloney

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

Adesoji Adelaja

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

Sharon Anyango Odhiambo

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Communications and Outreach Officer, African Technology Policy Studies Network, Kenya

Mark Duerksen

Research Associate, Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Sophia Moestrup

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

Messay Asgedom Gobena

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Ph.D. Candidate in Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Ethiopia
Dr. Florence Odiwuor Headshot

Florence Odiwuor

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Lecturer, School of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Rongo University, Kenya
Miriam Mukalazi Headshot

Miriam Mukalazi

Visiting Researcher at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Taylor Laube-Alvarez Headshot

Taylor Laube-Alvarez

Former Director's Office Intern
Cheri Ayers Headshot

Cheri Ayers

Former Communications Coordinator

Anthony Carroll

Vice President, Manchester Trade, Ltd.
Terence McNamee

Terence McNamee

Global Fellow;

Osei Baffour Frimpong

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

Jennyfer Jimenez

Former Director's Office Intern

Elem Eyrice Tepeciklioğlu

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

Shobana Shankar

Former Fellow;
Professor of History, Stony Brook University-State University of New York

Tharcisse Guedegbe

World Bank Africa Fellow

Justin George Kappiaruparampil

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resources Economics, Michigan State University
Paterne Auxence Mombe image

Paterne Auxence Mombe

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Graduate Student, Tangaza University

Caleb Gichuhi

Africa Lead, Build Up; Teacher, United Nations System Staff College.

Michael Olabisi

Assistant Professor, Department of Community Sustainability and Agricultural, Food, & Resource Economics, Michigan State University

Robert Richardson

Professor, Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University

William Darbyshire

Student, University of Wisonsin-Madison; Former Research Associate, Manchester Trade

Omegere John Patrick

Resource Person for Africa, the Global Development Centre, Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries

Vivian Lowery Derryck

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

Margaret Wamuyu Muthee

Chief Analyst for the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation
Will Ferroggiaro Headshot

Will Ferroggiaro

Consultant, Conflict, Governance, and Media

Jude Cocodia

Associate Professor, Niger Delta University Nigeria; Research Fellow, University of the Free State South Africa.

Stefan Bakumenko

Independent Researcher

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