Ongoing violence is rooted in intercommunal tensions and spurred on by rising extremism in the Sahel. Jihadists have recruited heavily among Fulani herders in recent months.
More than $2 billion was pledged at the Lake Chad crisis, more than the $1.5 billion sought and three times the disappointing haul last year.
There are fears that intensified conflict in southern Libya could lead to a large scale displacement crisis in northern Niger
Diverse African economies such as South Africa and Egypt, are likely to be the drivers of the free trade area, and are likely to benefit from it the most.
In East Africa Ethiopia is likely to remain the fastest growing economy, but growth is projected to slow in Tanzania with moderation in investment growth.