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African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices.
The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend, said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report.
The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion.
Despite the drop, Africa's military spending remains 48 percent higher than it was a decade ago. A few of the top spenders within these regions are generally oil economies, so the low oil prices have meant sharp cutbacks in government financing and that includes military spending, he said.
Some of Africa's biggest spenders in recent years have included oil-rich Angola, which has sought to modernize its air force and navy, and Algeria which has tried to preserve its stability amid the collapse of Libya and the rise of extremism in North Africa. Both of those countries have slowed spending recently, Tian said.
Source: Voice of America