Susan Stigant is the director of Africa Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace where she leads programming in East Africa and the Greater Horn, on the Red Sea Arena and with the African Union. Her thematic focus is on the design and implementation of inclusive constitutional reform and national dialogue processes.

Prior to joining USIP, Stigant managed constitutional development, citizen engagement and election observation programs with the National Democratic Institute (NDI). From 2005-2011, she served as program director with NDI in Southern Sudan, where she supported the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. She also worked with the Forum of Federations on comparative federalism and with the research unit of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in South Africa.

Publications By Susan

The Latest: Africa’s Coups and Transitions

The Latest: Africa’s Coups and Transitions

Thursday, December 15, 2022

By: Chris Kwaja;  Joseph Sany, Ph.D.;  Susan Stigant

In recent years, a spate of coups throughout Africa has threatened the continent’s peace, stability and development. While coup leaders often cite popular discontent to justify their actions, post-coup environments in Africa have only exacerbated longstanding issues with security and governance. Without a path for a democratic transition back to civilian rule, many countries controlled by coup regimes are risking further fragility that could spread beyond their borders. As the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit unfolds, USIP’s Chris Kwaja, Joseph Sany and Susan Stigant look at how several post-coup transitions have unfolded in Africa — as well as how the summit can help get them back on track.

Type: Blog

Democracy & GovernancePeace Processes

Will the U.S.-Africa Summit Address U.N. Security Council Reform?

Will the U.S.-Africa Summit Address U.N. Security Council Reform?

Thursday, December 8, 2022

By: Solomon Dersso;  Tim Murithi;  Susan Stigant

U.N. Security Council (UNSC) reform has been a long-standing demand from many in the international community, but calls for an overhaul of the institution have grown louder amid renewed interest in democratizing the international system and addressing historical exclusion and injustices in its core institutions. And in a major development this past September, President Biden told the U.N. General Assembly the United States would support reforming the Security Council — specifically mentioning the addition of permanent members from Africa.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Somalia’s Critical Transition Comes amid al-Shabab and Hunger Challenges

Somalia’s Critical Transition Comes amid al-Shabab and Hunger Challenges

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

By: Susan Stigant

On May 15, Somali legislators selected former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to reprise the chief executive role he played from 2012-2017. The vote marks a critical transition for Somalia and in the Horn of Africa, particularly after the election was delayed by two years and marred by corruption and violence. President Hassan Sheikh will return to power in a country seemingly splitting at the seams, amid a devastating drought, a metastasizing terrorist threat and a fractious political scene. Meanwhile, President Biden has decided to redeploy U.S. troops to fight the terrorist group al-Shabab, reversing a move made by President Trump at the end of his term.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceViolent Extremism

Ethiopia’s Truce Offers Hope, But the Next Steps Are Complex

Ethiopia’s Truce Offers Hope, But the Next Steps Are Complex

Thursday, March 31, 2022

By: Susan Stigant

After 16 months, one of Africa’s deadliest wars has yielded an opportunity to build peace, as Ethiopia’s government and the Tigray Defense Forces have declared a truce to allow for the humanitarian aid needed to prevent mass starvation across the country’s northeast. Ethiopians and their supporters must seize this moment to consolidate a durable cease-fire and end blockages to humanitarian assistance. This effort should open a path to a broad national dialogue to set a shared vision for Ethiopia’s future, growth potential and long-term stability. But the essential first steps are complex and will need to be taken carefully and swiftly.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

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