Central Africa

Research focuses on regional geopolitics, conflict resolution, biodiversity management and rural development in the ECCAS and Great Lakes regions.

Chatham House convening and research has focused on regional environmental governance and forest sector accountability; geopolitics and conflict dynamics in the Democractic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Great Lakes region; kleptocracy and oil politics in Equatorial Guinea; and the promotion of sustainable peace and dialogue in Burundi, Cameroon, CAR, and the DRC.



Central Africa sits at the heart of the continent’s physical and policy challenges and opportunities.

Its forests and wetlands – including the landmark Congo Basin – represent some of the world’s largest carbon sinks; and the region boasts significant biodiversity, critical minerals, and innovation on conservation and nature-based solutions.

Yet management of these resources, coupled with institutional instability, difficult foreign relations, and historical legacies have also been at the heart of complex conflicts in the region, particularly in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Regional policy architecture in the region is distinctly intricate, with the relatively weak Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) sitting alongside several other sub-regional organizations, the AU, and multiple UN peacekeeping missions.