Sub-Saharan Africa is the riskiest investment Region in the world Due to Militant violence and abuses by security forces, a new report says.
Seven of the world’s 10 highest-risk countries for militant violence are in the region with significant deteriorations in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the annual Terrorism Intensity Index released on Friday by risk consultants Verisk Maplecroft.
Much of the concern was over Boko Haram’s attacks in west Africa as well as other militias in the central African Sahel, with a warning that conflict could continue to spread regionally.
Sustained violence across Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon shows no sign of abating, and the risks are spreading across the Sahel and the wider region. Many of the countries listed above are now among the world’s riskiest locations according to the index. With the worst possible score of 0.00 out of 10.00.
Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Mali, Somalia and Syria are tied as the highest risk countries globally, but are closely followed by Cameroon (ranked 6th), Mozambique (7th), Niger (8th), DR Congo (9th) and Iraq (10th). Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is ranked 11th. All are categorised as ‘extreme risk’ in the index.
The report highlights risks for companies and staff at sites and transport routes, and warns that government forces also pose a risk.
Alexandre Raymakers, Verisk Maplecroft’s senior Africa analyst, said businesses wanted to avoid “being associated with a government that provides security but the security forces commit human rights violations”.
The Sahel has been the target of a coordinated anti-militant drive by regional governments, supported by France, but there has been a surge in the numbers of civilians killed by government forces this year.
The risks of terrorism are intensifying and spreading across sub-Saharan Africa and the threat to West Africa’s coastal states alongside foreign owned mining and energy operations are increasing. Read more now. #terrorism #africa #risk #mining #energy https://t.co/VD6LiFowF7
— Verisk Maplecroft (@MaplecroftRisk) December 11, 2020
Raymakers said that while militant groups had become more effective, government counteroffensives had often failed, and exacerbated core problems, because of abuses against civilians.
“Generally, the counterterrorism strategies taken are mainly military-focused, deploying military forces to seek and destroy armed outfits. The problem is that these groups are driven by a set of local grievances,” said Raymakers.
Mozambique had seen a dramatic change this year as militancy in its remote Cabo Delgado region which had previously been seen as a limited threat was now overspilling into the wider region and posing a serious challenge to security forces.
Rights groups have claimed that military abuses, neglect and the actions of companies seeking to exploit Cabo Delgado’s recent gemstone and gas discoveries have fuelled a “ cocktail of violence”.