Central Africa | Wilson Center

Central Africa

Creating Opportunities for Peace Through Regional Trade in the African Great Lakes Region

The countries of Africa's Great Lakes region are blessed with abundant natural resources. But instead of bringing prosperity to the region's people, trade in minerals, metals, and timber products has fueled devastating conflicts and contributed to the area's widespread poverty.

Minerals, Forests, and Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The tremendous forest and mineral wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is critical to the country and its people's political, economic, and social future. John Katunga, a DRC national and experienced conflict mediator, explored the interconnections between natural resource wealth and stability at an event co-sponsored by the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program and Africa Program on October 4, 2006.

Book Launch: The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam

The latitudinal tenth parallel — located 700 miles above the equator — constitutes a "faith-based fault line" between Islam and Christianity, said Eliza Griswold at the launch of her latest book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam at the Wilson Center on September 16, 2010. The former Wilson Center public policy scholar traveled more than 9,000 miles to six countries along the line.

Issue 17: Sharing the Forest: Protecting Gorillas and Helping Families in Uganda

On the outskirts of remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda, endangered mountain gorillas forage in local gardens that run along the border of the park. Rapid population growth has pushed people to settle near the gorillas' habitat – sometimes leading to conflict. Our innovative community development program, Conservation Through Public Health, seeks to conserve these magnificent animals, and at the same time, improve the quality of life for Ugandans living near Bwindi.

Best of the Beat: Highlights From the First Year

The New Security Beat, ECSP’s blog, was launched in January 2007 to shed light on some of today’s broader security issues, including water scarcity, environmental degradation, and population growth. The posts below are selected highlights from the first year of the New Security Beat, which won a 2008 Global Media Award for Excellence in Population Reporting in the category of “Best Online Commentary.”

Sustained Development, Democracy, and Peace in Africa

When the Norwegian Nobel Committee honored me with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, it intended to send a new and historic message to the world: to rethink peace and security. It wanted to challenge the world to discover the close linkage between good governance, sustainable management of resources, and peace. In managing our resources, we need to realize that they are limited and need to be managed more sustainably, responsibly, and accountably.

Minerals, Forests, and Violent Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is emerging from a bloody war that has claimed the lives of nearly 4 million people, the majority of them in the eastern part of the country. In the absence of a strong state, the raging civil wars allowed the rebels, neighboring countries (Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda), and international players to plunder the country’s unparalleled endowment of valuable minerals, wildlife, and timber.

Conflict and Cooperation: Making the Case for Environmental Pathways to Peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region

Opportunities for environmental peacemaking in the Great Lakes Region have not yet been isolated, even though there are many examples of cooperation at the national, regional, subregional, and local levels. With its prevalence of conflict and transboundary ecosystems, the Great Lakes Region could be a potential model for a future worldwide initiative in environmental peacemaking.

Water, Conflict, and Cooperation: Lessons From the Nile River Basin (No. 4)

In 1979, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said: “The only matter that could take Egypt to war again is water.” In 1988 then-Egyptian Foreign Minister Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who later became the United Nations’ Secretary-General, predicted that the next war in the Middle East would be fought over the waters of the Nile, not politics. Rather than accept these frightening predictions, we must examine them within the context of the Nile River basin and the relationships forged among the states that share its waters.