ARUSHA, Tanzania — Over 50 senior-level security sector leaders from East Africa, the East African Community (EAC) and the United States opened a week-long workshop September 3, 2012, in Arusha, designed to increase understanding of the African security landscape and to solicit input on how the United States can best support capacity building in counter trafficking and counter terrorism on the continent.
The workshop, titled “East African Community Regional Chapter Workshop: Countering Illicit Trafficking and Irregular Threats,” is sponsored by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the United State Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). It is being organized in conjunction with the EAC and Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) alumni chapters in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
“Today, Eastern Africa in general, and the East African Community specifically, face significant challenges in illicit trafficking of goods, drugs, weapons, and people; and in irregular threats, such as militias, insurgent groups, and international terrorists,” said Michael Garrison, ACSS Acting Director, at the workshop’s opening ceremony. “Our intent is simple: bring together uniformed and civilian security practitioners at this workshop to explore and discuss ways to better posture yourselves to have a safer and more prosperous region,” Garrison said.
The week-long workshop is focusing on efforts to improve coordination and regional cooperation between African law enforcement, civilian intelligence, and border security agencies on the one hand, and lawmakers and legal practitioners on the other. Participants will share information, identify best practices and develop recommendations for the way forward, including proposals for projects that Africa Center alumni chapters in EAC member countries can undertake following the workshop.
“The theme of this workshop addresses itself to issues of specific concerns to the East African Community,” said Dr. Julius Rotich, Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community, in his keynote address. “The theme of illicit threats is pertinent and thus the timing for this workshop could not have been better than what it is now.”
The Africa Center for Strategic Studies is a U.S. Department of Defense institution for security studies, research and outreach in Africa. Africa Center programs and symposiums gather perspectives and recommendations from a cross-section of international security-sector officials, public servants, and civil-society representatives. Thousands of security, government, and civil-society professionals from across Africa have attended African Center programs since the Center’s founding in 1999.