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This paper discusses the principal findings of a new integrated dataset of transnational armed conflict in Africa. Existing Africa conflict datasets have systematically under-represented the extent of cross-border state support to belligerent parties in internal armed conflicts as well as the number of incidents of covert cross-border armed intervention and incidents of using armed force to threaten a neighbouring state. Based on the method of ‘redescribing’ datapoints in existing datasets, notably the Uppsala Conflict Data Project, the Transnational Conflict in Africa (TCA) data include numerous missing incidents of transnational armed conflict and reclassify many more. The data indicate that (i) trans-nationality is a major feature of armed conflict in Africa, (ii) most so-called ‘civil wars’ are internationalised and (iii) the dominant definitions of ‘interstate conflict’ and ‘civil war’ are too narrow to capture the particularities of Africa's wars. While conventional interstate war remains rare, interstate rivalry using military means is common. The dataset opens up a research agenda for studying the drivers, patterns and instruments of African interstate rivalries. These findings have important implications for conflict prevention, management and resolution policies.
In the end, everyone agreed that they should do one thing: Wait and see what happens. The situation would clarify itself and then they would move.
Randy Shilts, commenting on the United States' Government's debate on how to respond to AIDS at the end of 1982.
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years, twenty years largely wasted …
TS Eliot, The Four Quartets.
This is a very, very different crisis than anything we've seen before.
James Morris, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, in Southern Africa, September 2002.
For more than a decade, for those who cared to look, it has been clear that the HIV/AIDS pandemic would inevitably cause major problems for African governance. The loss of human resources in the institutions of government, the private sector and civil society, would inexorably cause grievous economic harm, famine, declining governance capacity and risks to peace and security. To date, almost nothing has been done to address this imminent crisis. This chapter is concerned with some of the reasons for this, and what they tell us about the nature of African governance and international public policy.
Among myriad examples of lack of pace in responding to the implications of HIV/AIDS, let us select just two. The first indications of a major negative impact of the pandemic on an agrarian economy emerged in the mid-1980s, and the first studies were completed a few years later.