African Defence: A Statistical Analysis

Group Captain Kishore Kumar Khera, a former fighter pilot, is an independent analyst Click here for detailed profile.
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  • July-September 2023

    Africa’s continental aspirations are well documented in ‘Agenda 2063’. With a laid-out implementation plan for well-articulated goals to meet the aspirations, Africa is moving in the right direction, albeit a little slowly. The main reasons are intertwined and interrelated—conflicts and slow economic growth. To top this, African governments are splurging on building military capabilities without clearly defined strategic goals. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) database on military-related expenditure up to the year 2022 indicates that Africa, on an average, is spending 60 per cent points more than the world average on its military. This has been the trend for the last 30 years. After peaking at over 12.5 per cent of government expenditure in 1999, African defence expenditure has come down, but it continues to stay higher than the world average, which is a cause of concern. This article undertakes a statistical analysis of all defence-related issues in the African continent to get an overview of how African defence has moved in the last five decades, and the reasons thereof as well as what is the likely trajectory various African states may follow in the coming decades in this regard.

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