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A spree of military coups in fragile West and Central African states is raising concern of contagion to other regions and more stable countries. Military interventions can indicate sudden policy shifts, such as in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, or trigger civil conflicts such as in Sudan, which expose investors and businesses to a multitude of contract risks and insecurity.

Chaotic transfers of power trigger contract cancellations, currency shortages, expropriations, civil unrest, and even sovereign defaults. On the other hand, managed coups like those in Guinea, Chad, and Gabon appear to stabilise governance and provide protections for investors, often replacing unpopular, authoritarian, and kleptocratic regimes.

Pangea-Risk routinely updates its forecast of African countries that face a high probability of military unconstitutional intervention. Based on the latest assessment, which for the first time also includes the Middle East, half of the 68 countries in these regions are exposed to either Severe or High risk of a military coup in the one-year outlook, according to proprietary risk scoring methodology.

Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea have the highest probability of military transfer of power, while our assessment also includes usually politically stable states such as Benin, Togo, Rwanda, Uganda, and Egypt.

As geopolitical stability and international trade have always been inherently linked, the fallout from these coups has the potential to impact the greater African continent and disrupt global supply chains as well. The political and economic world will be waiting to see the large-scale impact that will emerge from this potential contagion.