Entrepreneurship Insecurity, Smuggling And Cross-Border Dynamics In Central Africa
Central Africa, as a geopolitical complex1 and security complex, is plagued since independences to the dynamics of insecurity and border smuggling, structured around the mechanic of networks and the entrepreneurship system. This is especially true in the CEMAC zone, where the permeability of intra-regional and interregional borders has become a commonplace. Entrepreneurs of insecurity here are rebel groups, militias and armed gangs, bandits and urban gangs. These cliques are enterprises in the sense of liberal capitalism. They seek to minimize their costs and maximize their profits. Based on various trafficking and smuggling networks and taking advantage of the porous borders, they are able to acquire the necessary equipment to generate insecurity and instability. These insecurities and instabilities are used at different scales as an investment whose benefits can be beneficiaries enrichment (case of Bandits), the control of an urban or rural area (gang case), the control of a sub-state territory (case of militias and armed bands) or to coup d’état within a state (in the case of rebellion). It is important to identify and highlight their relationship with the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) insecurity in the subregion. The theoretical blueprint of this article focuses on the following questions: is there a correlation between smuggling and insecurity in Central Africa? To what extent the entrepreneurship of insecurity fits into trans-border dynamics of the regional economy of crime? How smuggling networks and entrepreneurs of insecurity organize themselves for the control of territories and the taking of State powers? This article is in the interstices of political geography and geopolitics, and draws on the sociology of territories and sociology of networks. The theoretical challenge is to show how entrepreneurship of insecurity is characterized by the triptych network, territory and power. It is also shown that in the absence of cooperation and pooling of efforts between Member States in Central Africa, the fight against insecurity, SME networks and smugglers will continue to be a zero -sum game.2 The hypothesis is formulated as follows: the permeability of borders in the subregion promotes the proliferation of smuggling, which in turn catalyzes the transnationalization of companies of insecurity. These entrepreneurs are on a quest for the control of territories and the taking of power of State. This text is organized around a binary motion. The first movement constitutes the typography of entrepreneurs of insecurity and smuggling networks in the region. The second movement is an alignment of datas of the research with the theoretical problematic.
Published in Political Reflection Magazine Vol. 4 No. 2