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Contemporary Challenges in African Security for America


This lecture is a survey of the ongoing security issues in Africa facing the United States. It will be guided by American national security-foreign policy interests and the Maslow hierarchy of African human security needs. It will highlight a status report of Covid-19 and other disease vectors in Africa and move on to kinetic and counter-insurgency issues of ISIS, Al-Qa’eda and others in the Horn of Africa, Central African and the African Sahel. Issues of governance, human rights and democracy will be described, as well as multiple concerns of piracy and trafficking: human, drugs, minerals (gold, diamonds, coltan), arms, ivory and animals. This will be placed in the context of Russians and Chinese interests and activities in Africa and what the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) may be able to do.

Instructor Biography

Richard Lobban, Ph.D., professor emeritus of anthropology and African studies at Rhode Island College, serves as adjunct professor of African studies at the Naval War College. He has a master’s degree from Temple University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and has taught at the American University in Cairo, Tufts University and Dartmouth College, among others. He has conducted field research in Tunis and Egypt and has been excavating a temple in Sudan for 10 years. Richard is widely published in urban and complex societies, informal sector economy, gender, ethnicity, race and class, especially in the Middle East. He often serves as a subject matter expert and court-appointed expert witness in political asylum cases for refugees from Africa and the Middle East. 

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