Africa – 11 July 2014

African nations still top ’10 Worst’ in Fragile States Index but Liberia, Sierra Leone give hope
Zimbabwe surprisingly took the top spot for Africa’s most improved nation this year, and Central African Republic declined the most in the world
The time of year has come when the Fund for Peace publishes the Fragile States Index. Formerly known as the Failed State Index (but renamed because that name sounded too negatively fated) the index is a ranking of 178 nations based on their levels of stability and the pressures they face. For 10 years now, the index has painted a fairly macabre image of African nations. Since 2005 there have been four countries consistently ranked in the top ten “worst” of the index – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Somalia and Chad, four African nations. Mail and Guardian

Africa as we know her might soon be history thanks to rebels, minerals, and drugs
The discovery of new riches in the soil might lead to secession, or encourage regions to cooperate. It’s not yet clear which trend will prevail.
The country is seen as victim of ‘distance decay’ – the diminishing of state power as one moves away from the centre. State control of its territory is increasingly challenged in Africa. (AFP)

The increase in “small wars” in Africa has lately been dominating the news out of the continent, but at this point they are happening mostly in ill-governed peripheries and contested borderlands. Mail and Guardian.