Hostile Environments

The inner diversity of Africa

Africa is the second largest continent on Earth and contains both the oldest and largest deserts in the world.
The continent is home to almost 1 billion people who speak over 1000 different languages.

Africa has huge mineral resources, abundant oil and vast areas that can be developed for agricultural purposes.

Africa has the poorest countries in the world and some of the most diverse societies on the planet. Religious differences, political instabilities, economic inequalities and racial tensions create often dangerous working conditions for local and expatriate staff.

Together, Africans form the most culturally and ethnically diverse group of people on Earth.
Many difficult political situations can be found in Africa and they constitute potential Hostile Environments.

Until recently, Mali was viewed as a model of West African democracy and established itself as the third largest gold producer and one of the continent’s largest cotton producers; yet the country remains one of the world’s poorest nations.

Following the assassination of Libya’s former president Gaddafi and the collapse of his regime during the Arab Spring (2011), many of his Tuareg mercenaries returned to Mali and in April 2012 seized control of the north of the country.

Since then the economy has been frozen, some mining operations suspended and political instability experienced because of the inability of Amadou Toumani Toure administration to resolve the rebellion in the north.


After independence in October 1960, the political scene was split along ethnic lines until the first military coup in 1966. For the following three decades the country experienced a civil war, an oil boom and a string of military coups.

Currently, Jonathan Goodluck’s government has negotiated several economic successes but the country faces two domestic terrorist threats – from MEND in the oil rich Delta region; and Boko Haram in the North.


The fragile coalition government has engaged on a complex task of long-term reforms and the country is experiencing an economic boom in the trading, financial services and telecommunications sectors.

However, the country’s military intervention in Somalia has resulted in an increase in urban terrorist attacks by the al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab that operates from Somalia.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The country experienced over three decades of anarchy which erupted into a brutal 5-year civil war. Militias continue to operate in certain areas, especially in the North-Eastern regions and South Kiwu provinces.

Although the civil war ended in 2003, the fighting continued despite the deployment of the UN’s largest peace keeping mission.

Over 3 million people have died since 2004 and over 5 million have been displaced. As such, the country remains unstable but the current government has implemented a new constitution and followed the advice of the World Bank and IMF to stabilize the economy.

These are only few examples of the political instability of African countries. Although they do not provide a stable scenario, all these countries are rich in natural resources, such as hydrological power, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel, natural gas, petroleum and many more.

This abundance is being exploited by Western countries’ and Chinese companies, seeking natural resources and cheap workforce.

Experience over the past decade and more has shown that local and expatriate staff working in African countries often faces a range of threats to their personal and professional lifestyles.
H.E.A.T courses provide executives and key personnel with the necessary survival and self-reliance skills to operate effectively, and with confidence, in any Hostile Environment.