the NATO Southern HUB
  • Topics
  • Regions
  • In the news
  • Our Network
  • About us

African Shared Values Vs the Implication of Increasing Authoritarianism in the Greater Sahel and Gulf of Guinea

On leadership shifts that might challenge Africa's shared values and impact the entire system built around on local, regional and international level.

Africa - Security & Conflict - Format: PDF - Size: 1.43 MB - Date: Dec, 2023 - Pages: 26 - Copyright: NATO Strategic Direction South HUB - Tags: Sahel, Gulf of Guinea, Governance

In the most recently affected coup countries of the Greater Sahel, the ways the self-proclaimed military juntas came to power and were able to build consensus are not new. What should raise concern is: firstly, the speed with which unlawful seizures of power and authoritarian systems are spreading in the Greater Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea. Secondly, the level of ambition and determination the coup leaders have displayed, not only in challenging the regional and continental organisations, but also in challenging African shared values, as originally intended to inspire African leaders in their effort to unite their peoples and the continent under a Pan-African vision. Why and how things are changing and where this could lead is of paramount importance, since the change could not only affect Africa, but also Africa’s partners and the international community.


Drawing on insights from regional experts in Africa, this paper assesses the risk that recent leadership shifts might challenge and permanently alter Africa's shared values, potentially impacting the entire system built around them across local, regional, continental, and international levels. The analysis also explores alternative scenarios for the future.

Key insights

  • The Illegal seizure of power is a recurrent practice in the Greater Sahel and is spreading warningly in Africa; 
  • While public dissatisfaction can play a role, illegal seizures of power in Africa often stem from a mix of factors, including economic hardship, political instability, and regional security concerns.
  • A lot of people looking for a change support the new juntas
  • Political systems in the Greater Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea face several challenges, and several of them are highly fragile.
  • The African Shared values, and the continental and regional organizations in Africa are increasingly challenged, as well as the implementation of the African 2063 agenda.
  • The rules based international order is increasingly challenged.
The NATO Southern Hub

© NATO Strategic Direction South HUB