Solution to Insecurity in Africa





Solution to Insecurity in Africa

Problem Definition

            One of the largest problems facing emerging nations in the world is insecurity. Some of the most violent and unstable nations in the world are located in Africa, the Middle East and South America. The three continents are home to some of the world’s most violent gangs, rebel groups and terrorist cells. Though most of the violence occurs within the confines of the developing nations, the insecurity in those countries is a cause for concern for the rest of the world. On September 11 2001, members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist groups attacked three targets in the United States with hijacked planes. Two of the attacks succeeded and caused a devastating amount of damage in New York. The planners and perpetrators of the attacks have coordinated their activities in countries in the emerging world such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan. The attackers took advantage of the insecurity on those countries to plan an assault on the United States. Through the attacks, the world became aware that insecurity in the emerging world is a problem for the entire planet.

            One of the main reasons why many emerging countries have insecurity problems is poor state control. In most of the countries where such problems exist, the central governments lack the strength, influence and expertise of properly governing every inch of their nations. Accordingly, criminal elements take advantage of the weak governance to run their operations in regions where the government has little control over the people. Examples of groups that have taken advantage of weak governance and control to cause security problems in the emerging world include the Boko Haram and Al Shabaab extremist groups in Nigeria and Somalia respectively.


            Communication can help solve the insecurity problems that affect most African countries. In most of these countries, poor central governments are unable to fully exercise control of their jurisdictions. This is especially the case in nations such as Kenya, Somalia, Congo (Democratic Republic), Nigeria, Chad and Mali. The governments’ inability to maintain strong presences in all corners of their nations means that they are not aware of issues that arise in remote areas until it is too late. Additionally, governments in such countries are unable to communicate to the residents in remote regions on urgent security issues and threats. This problem can be solved by using a mass texting service. Despite high poverty levels in many of the affected nations, mobile phones have managed to spread through the populations. The proliferation of services such as mobile money transfer has made cell phones a necessity even in Africa. Using a mass texting service, the governments in Africa could have a way of reaching out to their residents even in regions where they have a weak presence. This solution could be emboldened by introducing texting hotlines through which the residents can reach the government, so that the communication can become a two way process between the parties. Using the mass texting service, the governments in Africa would have a way of notifying residents of imminent threats to security. This could include warnings on impending attacks of different kinds. Though the government presence in the regions would remain low, the early warning system would work by giving residents a chance to either defend themselves or flee to safer areas. Conversely, the government texting hotline would help governments collect information and intelligence from areas where they have weak presences. This information could help governments that are capable to send security forces into the involved areas and defend civilians. The biggest advantage of this system is that it would be using a form of technology that is already prevalent (cell phones) and the only party that would be incurring costs is the central government. 

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