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North Africa Regional Dynamics

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

On 09 April 2019, the NATO Strategic Direction South (NSD-S) HUB hosted a "North Africa Regional Dynamics" Workshop at Allied Joint Force Command, Naples. The aim of the workshop was to confirm or challenge the research conclusions of the NSD-S HUB North Africa analysis team, as well as to benefit from participant first hand knowledge and expertise in order to improve the overall NATO understanding of the region. Through gaining a better understanding of the main challenges to regional stability from the Egyptian, Mauritanian and Tunisian perspective, the NSD-S HUB ultimately hopes to identify possible opportunities for NATO to support through partnership initiatives.

SUMMARY:

Stability in North Africa (NA) is highly influenced by regional dynamics as well as external factors. Challenges to stability arise from diverse factors such as economic development and unemployment, energy security, migration and demographic pressures, trafficking, radicalization and terrorism. A comprehensive approach to understanding these drivers is necessary in order to identify effective mitigation strategies. In order to facilitate discussion, the workshop broke them into two main topics, economic developments and security challenges; however, it was repeatedly emphasized that the impacts in one domain certainly influence the other. In fact, the group all agreed that economic difficulties magnify the impact of other challenges such as lacking social cohesion, acting as a threat multiplier for instability.

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