Johannesburg – The future of the African continent for 2018 is not looking good with an increase in civil war, near-famines and more conflict, predicted by the Geneva-based think-tank ACAPS.
ACAPS, a non-profit organisation, analysed 18 countries globally, and reported numerous concerns.
“If 2017 did not look good, predictions for 2018 are no better: violence and insecurity are likely to deteriorate in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Libya, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia, and Syria next year,” ACAPS director Lars Peter Nissen wrote in the report, "Humanitarian Overview: An analysis of key crises into 2018".
North-eastern Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan are already facing the risk of famine, but Ethiopia is expected to join the list next year.
In a separate report, the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network said an estimated 76 million people across 45 countries were likely to need food aid in 2018, driven by conflict, an 18-month-old drought in the Horn of Africa and forecasts for below average rains in Africa’s spring next year.
Forthcoming elections in Libya and South Sudan were also expected to exacerbate tensions and fuel violence, according to the Network.
Islamic extremism in southern Libya will also continue to cause death and conflict through the continuation of improvised attacks, as well as gaining strength and resources, the reports outlined.
Somalia, too, remained increasingly vulnerable as the Islamic State (ISIS) will grow in strength there as it increases its presence in Puntland.
Presently the organisation is shadowed by its larger rival Al Shabaab, but this is set to change.
Armed jihadists will fill the gap in central Mali as government troops withdraw by gaining local recruits and extending their sphere of influence, the report stated.