July 2011

  • Dr Malaquias Discusses the State of Angola’s Foreign Policy

    spotlight_malaquias Dr. Assis Malaquias is the Academic Chair for Defense Economics at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. In this capacity, Dr. Malaquias oversees curriculum and program development in the area of defense economics focusing on sound practices for the management of security sector resources in Africa, the relationship between security strategy and the allocation/ utilization of national resources, and appropriate budgeting and procurement models in Africa. Dr. Malaquias' current research focuses on the political economy security in central and southern Africa. In this interview the scholar highligths key points of his latest research paper.


    You recently published a research paper titled “Angola’s Foreign Policy: Pragmatic Recalibrations.” Why Angola?  

    assis-acss-21Angola is an important country at many levels. As a major oil producer, it must be included in global calculations about energy security. Its geostrategic position in Africa makes it critically important for the security of several regions: Southern Africa, Central Africa, and the Gulf of Guinea. It has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and, indeed, the world. It has a large, experienced, and well-tested security sector. With the country’s long civil war over, Angola’s security sector will seek domestic, sub-regional, and regional opportunities to remain relevant. This can foster stability or produce instability. Finally, Angola is increasingly seen as symbol of an emerging development paradigm in Africa which combines strong political centralization with a veneer of democracy and a strong security sector to achieve stability and rapid economic growth all within a rent-seeking and highly opaque political economy.

    Your paper thoroughly analyzes Angolan relations with Russia and China, from the Cold War era to present. But you also state that China has replaced Russia as Angola’s new “best friend.” How and why did that happen?

    The Cold War ended about the time when Angola underwent a false transition to peace in 1991-1992. Suddenly, Angola’s main external backer, the former Soviet Union, ceased to exist. Its successor, Russia, was more interested in cooperating with the West than holding on to the global geostrategic alliances that defined international relations during the Cold War. In important respects, therefore, Angola became an “orphan” of the Cold War. To survive within a new international environment and given its continuing internal problems at the time – the civil war resumed in 1992 and lasted until 2002 – Angola needed new friends. Its attempts to win friends in the West did not yield positive results mainly because of Angola’s poor governance. Rebuffed by the West, Angola looked East and found that China was eager to become its new best friend.

    Oil is obviously a big part of life in Angola, especially as it relates to the economy. Is Angola currently taking effective steps to diversify away from this commodity like some other oil producing states have done?

    The short answer is no. Much of the Angolan economy revolves around oil. Angola has had very little success in diversifying the economy after it nearly collapsed when most Portuguese settlers who controlled all sectors of the economy, with the exception of subsistence rural agriculture, departed in the months before independence in 1975. A dire economic situation was made worse by nearly three decades of war. The task of rebuilding and diversifying the economy would have been daunting even under ideal circumstances. But, during the decades of civil war, the Angolan state developed its current rent-seeking and opaque character. Since the dominant political/economic class can easily capture oil revenues, it has little incentive to pursue economic opportunities in other sectors where greater skills/efforts might be required.

    According to your research U.S. –Angola relations are smooth on the economic side and complex on the political side, even irritating sometimes. Why?

    Angola and the U.S. share important economic interests. For example, American oil companies have played a central role in the development of Angola’s oil sector since that precious commodity was first discovered in Angola in the 1930s. These companies remained engaged even during Angola’s civil war. But, in my personal view, Angola and the U.S. do not yet completely share the same political core values. Therefore, it is normal for there to be the occasional irritants in U.S.-Angola bilateral relations.

    How do you foresee Angola’s Foreign Policy in the next decade?

    At the regional/continental level, Angola will use its vast oil wealth and powerful security sector to project and cement its influence, mainly in response to requests by governments that view it as a model of how to transition from conflict to peace and on how to achieve security and economic growth. This can have both potentially positive (e.g. Guinea-Bissau, where Angola is assisting in the rebuilding of the Guinean security sector) and negative effects (e.g. Cote d’Ivoire, where Angola allegedly supported Gbagbo’s failed last stand). Internationally, it will continue to work closely with China. However, recognizing China’s potential vulnerabilities and the dangers of over-reliance on one strategic partner, Angola is likely to hedge its bets by focusing elsewhere as well. Relations with the EU, BRICS, and the U.S. will receive more attention.

  • Colonel Xavier Collignon: Goodbye and Thank You!

    collignon4Click here to view photos from this event

    A graduate of France’s Saint-Cyr Military Academy [École militaire de Saint-Cyr], Army Staff College [École d’état-major de l’Armée de terre], and Joint Defense College [Collège interarmées de défense], Colonel Xavier Collignon served as the French representative to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) from 2008 to 2011.  A naval officer whose vast knowledge of the African continent was gleaned over his entire career from operational missions and relationships with African military leaders, Colonel Collignon has agreed to answer a few questions on the eve of his departure from ACSS, as he prepares for a new assignment.

    What benefit does the United States derive from having a French representative to the ACSS? First, it is important to emphasize that French representation is not a matter of mere formality.  Rather, this arrangement represents a kind of partnership among the United States, France, the European Union, and Africa (the latter being the major beneficiary).  In my capacity as a French officer, I act as a liaison between France, the European Union, and the United States, most notably in the coordination of efforts to enhance the efficiency of the various undertakings.  The French experience in Africa, which I strive to embody with all due modesty, is an asset that, of course, allows the United States to better grasp the problems afflicting Francophone Africa, but also the rest of the continent, which often faces similar circumstances.  The need to recognize specific cultural factors applies throughout Africa.  Finally, we at ACSS are convinced that the greater the cooperation among the States, NGOs, and the international institutions that work with Africa, the more effective and sustainable the outcomes.  Indeed, this is one of the main recommendations offered by the African participants in our programs. What especially stood out for you during your time at ACSS? Generally speaking, the effectiveness of the American system.  When the American government decides to do something, it allocates all possible resources (diplomatic, academic, military, etc.) to that end.  All of those resources are combined and channeled toward the same objective, significantly increasing the chances of success. As regards ACSS, what stands out most is its proactive approach toward Africa and its other partners, its permanent willingness to be open to others.  Fundamentally, ACSS remains “outward looking,” which is the key to its success.  For example, the sustained dialogue between ACSS and its member communities enables it to determine, in almost real-time, the concerns of African countries.  Such interaction also gives it a good understanding of the economic, political, military, and humanitarian states of affairs in Africa. What will you take away from your tenure at ACSS? Above all, the excellent professional opportunity it afforded me.  For three years, I was able to enrich my knowledge of the United States and the way its institutions function, to  understand its relations with Africa, and to take part in strengthening cooperation among the United States, France, and the European Union.  In addition, I widened my circle of friends in Africa and the United States, which was for me an invaluable benefit. As you leave your position, do you have any personal anecdotes to share? Yes, I have two.  The first occurred in 2009 during an ACSS Next Generation of African Military Leaders course.  I was leading a working group comprising officers from throughout Africa.  I saw how the vibrancy and candor of the discussions gradually led to a collective symbiosis within the group, which might have seemed somewhat mismatched at the start.  The four weeks we spent together enabled me to forge and maintain a true relationship with the participants.  In addition, these participants also expressed themselves with great frankness and built strong relationships with each other. The second story that comes to mind took place in Africa during the visit of an ACSS delegation to a member community.  We had extended an invitation to civilians, military personnel, and members of civil society to sit at the same table.  During the meeting, one trade union official remarked that this was the first time that he had spoken peacefully with a police officer, seated at a table.  In general, he said, such interactions usually took place in the street and involved insults and baton blows.  This story illustrates one of the outstanding merits of the ACSS – the ability to bring civilians, military personnel, and other key players to the same table for discussion. What is your next stop after ACSS? I will be working at the Strategic Affairs Office of the French Ministry of Defense.  I will be the assistant to the Deputy Director of Regional Affairs in charge of Africa.  Quite obviously, the experience I gained at ACSS will be of tremendous benefit to me. Do you have a particular piece of advice to give to your replacement? Just a few words: Keep your eyes open, listen, learn, and participate.
  • Seminar Focuses on Maritime Safety and Security in West and Central Africa

    2011 ECOWAS(Click here to view photos from this event)

    The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) hosted a maritime safety and security conference July 19-21, 2011, in Garmisch, Germany, to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the two Regional Economic Communities on key maritime safety and security issues that affect their member nations.

    The goal of the conference was to develop the framework of an agreement on maritime cooperation that could be approved by senior decision makers at a follow-on, political-level conference to be held in 2012.

    Opening Adress by General Carter Ham commander of U.S. Africa Command  (AFRICOM)

    "The Africa maritime domain is under attack, infected by many threats and vulnerabilities," Dr. Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy for the African Union (AU), told conference participants.

    She added that unlawful activities such as illegal fishing, drug trafficking, and the escalation of piracy are major concerns that must be addressed through strategic methods.

    "(The) AU encourages regional economic communities to develop comprehensive maritime strategies with clear ends, ways and means linked together to enhance wealth creation for African people," said Ibrahim.

    The conference -- co-sponsored by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) -- also aimed to forge partnerships, identify projects that support maritime security activities and strengthen collaborative strategies. More than 100 participants from 25 nations attended, including representatives from the International Maritime Organization, Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea Commission, U.S. Departments of State, Justice and U.S. Coast Guard.

    Panel discussions examined maritime threats and the cost of inaction, as well as legal definitions and existing frameworks for international cooperation. Topics of discussion included operations pursuant to law enforcement, bilateral agreements, piracy and related disposition issues in high risk waters, African maritime law enforcement partnership fisheries seizure in West Africa, and illegal migration in the maritime domain.

    "Africa's future -- its economic vitality -- rests with maritime security and the ability to export and import goods...without adequate maritime security that would simply not be possible," said General Carter Ham, U.S. AFRICOM commander, who opened the conference July 19. "Ultimately, it will be the African states who decide what the right way ahead is and it will be the African states who will be responsible for the implementation of the agreements and the memorandum of understandings that are developed here." Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Duarte Monteiro, commander of the Cape Verde Coast Guard, reinforced the need for strong regional communities. "While each country has different problems, the threats remain common to us all and it is paramount that we all get together to tackle the issues and try to come up with workable solutions for individual countries and cooperate at the regional level," said Monteiro. Lieutenant Colonel Victorien Sinha, commander of the Benin Naval Training Center, appreciates the kind of pressure this conference has on the political will of local governments and authorities that will create the necessary awareness. "Countries like mine do not realize what they are losing at sea by not conducting security," said Sinha. The working groups provided a format to begin the process of formulating a legal framework to address politics and funding. This allowed participants to walk through operational provisions, making use of dialogue and group discussions. The common goal in each of the three groups was to filter through provisional language and collectively move forward in the process. The cooperation from conference participants served not only as a forum for African representatives from two Regional Economic Communities to identify and discuss common strategies for sustained capacity building, but also to increase national, regional and continental stability among member states.

    Speech by Head of ECOWAS Regional Security Division, Lt. Col. Abdourahmane Dieng

    Source: Africom.mil
  • ACSS Hosts a Security Sector Reform Program in Addis Ababa

    2011_SSR_group(Click here to view photos from this event) The dynamic security environment in Eastern Africa calls for security sector reform in order to effectively address the complex set of challenges facing the region. To facilitate the dialogue likely to bring about such reform, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies hosted a seminar titled “Challenges of Security Sector Reform in Eastern Africa” from 12-15 July 2011. The seminar brought together 35 participants from 9 countries in Eastern Africa (Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda), and the United States, as well as the East African Community and civil society organizations. The three-day seminar provided a forum for senior-level African military officers, civilian officials, and civil society representatives to explore strategies aimed at reforming security sector institutions. Participants discussed the importance of good governance to security sector reform and highlighted the critical oversight role played by parliaments, judiciaries, and the media. They also assessed the capacity of the African Union and Regional Economic Communities to catalyze reform and coordinate security cooperation among member states. The seminar demonstrated the need for security sector reform to be comprehensive and responsive to the needs of citizens. Speaking on behalf of the host nation, Ambassador Taye Habte-Selassie, Director General for the Americas at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, underscored the need for increased cooperation to counter transnational threats like violent extremism. Conveying the urgency of the issue, Ambassador Donald Booth, U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, highlighted the ways in which the internet and social media have increased the need to reform government institutions quickly. Increasingly, African citizens have rapid access to information and expect their governments to demonstrate results and provide adequate security. At the conclusion of the seminar, participants agreed that security sector reform should be an ongoing process that all countries carry out – even the United States – in order to build on existing defense capacities and counter emerging threats. The gathering was an occasion to engage in frank dialogue and generate policy recommendations that trigger security sector reform. At the end of the event, participants were reminded to remain in contact with the Africa Center via its alumni network once they return to their home countries.
  • Nigeria’s Pernicious Drivers of Ethno-Religious Conflict

    nigeria_mosque-horzBy Chris Kwaja , Africa Center for Strategic Studies, July 2011.

    The tendency to label conflicts in Nigeria as inter-religious or inter-ethnic is an oversimplified mischaracterization of the reality on the ground, according to Chris Kwaja, author of the Africa Center’s latest Africa Security Brief.

    Plateau State in central Nigeria, the locus of a series of ethnic and religious clashes, for example, was once called “the home of peace and tourism.” However, the driver for this violence  has not been an inability of groups to coexist but unclear legal codes regarding residency or “indigineship.” Seeking to mobilize support and extend  their influence, local leaders and political opportunists in Plateau have capitalized on these legal ambiguities in ways that discriminate  citizens’ basic rights, such as access to education, politics, and employment subject to whether they are deemed an “indigene” or “settler” to the region. With so much at stake, communities have become polarized and resorted to violence.

    The government, at both the local and federal level, has seemingly been unable to reverse this trend. Poor coordination, insufficient means of information sharing, a lack of accountability, political expediency, and repeated unsupported promises to resolve the violence have forced communities to turn towards nonstate actors such as faith-based and ethnic associations for protection.

    The legal framework at the root of violence in Plateau State has national implications –  and has already contributed to outbreaks of violence across Nigeria. Left unaddressed, this institutionalized inequity will continue to undermine social cohesion, national identity, and peace and security.

    Nigeria must mitigate this threat to national stability by instituting  fundamental legal reforms. In addition, efforts must be undertaken to repair the damage done to Nigerians’ sense of shared identity and faith in the state. As part of this, additional efforts to better protect minority rights, improve security sector performance, and reconcile divided communities are also essential. [DOWNLOAD THE SECURITY BRIEF IN PDF]

    Chris Kwaja is a Lecturer and Researcher at the Centre for Conflict Management at the University of Jos, Nigeria.

  • Statement of President Barack Obama Recognition of the Republic of South Sudan

    2011_07_09_sudan_independence_405_1-cropI am proud to declare that the United States formally recognizes the Republic of South Sudan as a sovereign and independent state upon this day, July 9, 2011.  After so much struggle by the people of South Sudan, the United States of America welcomes the birth of a new nation.

    Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible. A proud flag flies over Juba and the map of the world has been redrawn. These symbols speak to the blood that has been spilled, the tears that have been shed, the ballots that have been cast, and the hopes that have been realized by so many millions of people. The eyes of the world are on the Republic of South Sudan. And we know that southern Sudanese have claimed their sovereignty, and shown that neither their dignity nor their dream of self-determination can be denied.

    Read the full Statement of President Barack Obama on Whitehouse.gov
  • ACSS Welcomes Kenyan Activist and Anti-Corruption Whistleblower John Githongo to Roundtable Discussion

    John Githongo (2) (Click here to view more photos from this event.)

    The Africa Center for Strategic Studies welcomed the 2009 ACSS Visionary Award winner, Mr. John Githongo, to ACSS headquarters, June 1 2011 to discuss security trends and constitutional reform in Kenya.  Mr. Githongo is a former Kenyan journalist who was appointed the Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance in the Office of the President following the election of Mwai Kibaki to the presidency in 2002.  During his tenure as Kenya’s “anti-corruption czar”, Mr. Githongo uncovered corruption at the highest government levels.  Despite his mandate, high-ranking interference in his investigations led him to resign his position in 2005 and he went into exile in the United Kingdom.  Mr. Githongo returned to Kenya in 2008 to found Inuka Trust, a grassroots advocacy group aimed at creating an informed citizenry.  He is also the head of Twaweza Kenya, an organization that seeks bottom-up reform, and the founder of Kenya Ni Yetu (Kenya Is Ours), which aims to mobilize Kenya’s youth through social media and other forms of communication.

    Mr. Githongo addressed high ranking governance specialists, economists, diplomats and business leaders.  He highlighted key issues currently facing the Kenyan people: issues of identity, such as ethnic and religious tensions; corruption and inequality; as well as widespread insecurity and unemployment.  He stressed the effects that the rising price of food (and fuel), the growing youth bulge, and rapid urbanization have on the livelihoods and standard of living of Kenya’s poor.  Mr. Githongo criticized government corruption for sapping finances and state resources.  He pointed out that entrenched corruption in the government perpetuates inequality and political instability, stating that “conspicuous consumption by a small elite is easy to politicize” and is a root cause of much of Kenya’s violence and unrest.  He conceded that development in Kenya was increasing, but that the overall growth in prosperity was not shared with the people.  Citing his experiences in government, Mr. Githongo suggested that “bottom-up reform” was the key to lasting, effectual governance reform.  He stated that elites regulating elites is inherently ineffective.  Much of Mr. Githongo’s work with Inuka Trust and his other grassroots organizations aim at establishing an informed citizenry that can hold government accountable.

    Mr. Githongo also discussed reforms related to the new constitution promulgated in August 2010.  He specifically highlighted the new Kenyan constitution’s devolution of power to Kenya’s counties, which he considered “essential to Kenya’s future constitutional stability.”  He argued that devolution is easily understood and supported by voters and serves to make the central government liable to local governments, similar to the federal system of Nigeria.  Stating that “there are parts of Kenya where the government’s monopoly on violence has been lost”, Mr. Githongo hopes the devolution of power to the counties will help create localized bases of stability.  He also argued that Kenya’s new constitution was composed in the context of international pressure that followed the 2007 elections.  He discussed ongoing efforts to “Kenyanize” the constitution by adapting international standards to local needs. Finally, Mr. Githongo touched upon challenges such as drug trafficking that are severely undermining the authority and credibility of government.  Mr. Githongo concluded by stressing the importance of grassroots organizing and the use of social activism to mobilize Kenya’s young people to institute real, lasting reform.


  • Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson Addresses ACSS Participants

    Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie CarsonOn 16 June, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson spoke at a special plenary session of the Africa Center’s Senior Leaders Seminar. In his address, he highlighted the importance of transparency in global affairs, a tenant which has been reiterated by senior Obama officials in many different forums in Africa. Ambassador Carson stated that the United States continues to work with the African and international communities to spread democracy. The key to this initiative is a sustained commitment to democratic values and the rule of law. Ambassador Carson acknowledged the progress that has been made in terms of governance but also stated that there was more work to be done in this area within Africa.

    According to Ambassador Carson, another US priority  in Africa is to promote economic growth. In order to do so, African countries must continue to liberalize their economies so that they can further promote international trade. Africa’s economy represents only 2% of world trade. He stated that aid alone cannot sustain growth and in order for economies to expand they require private capital.

    Ambassador Carson also discussed the US’s desire to work with the international community to help resolve conflicts in Africa. He explained that, while the US has seen a positive downturn in the number of conflicts on the continent, the imminent independence for South Sudan represents a possible danger. In addition, the instability in Somalia continues to be a priority. Finally, Ambassador Carson mentioned that the US is focused on increasing global cooperation in order to resolve transnational issues, including drug trafficking and the effects of climate change on the continent. Ambassador Carson concluded by acknowledging the progress in Africa in recent years but emphasized the need for greater cooperation in order to continue to tackle issues in Africa.


  • (Français) Mme Kani Diabaté, épouse Coulibaly: Femme, Epouse, Mère… et Générale de Brigade

    (Français) Malian General(Pour voir les photos de l'évènement, cliquez ici) Véritable ''Soldat de développement'', la première Malienne à être promue Générale de Brigade, Kani Diabaté, jouit d'une notoriété qui dépasse largement les frontières du Mali. Médecin de formation et très impliquée dans les questions de genre, celle qui a fait partie de la première promotion des femmes dans l’armée malienne possède une expertise très sollicitée pour la réalisation d'études ou d'animation d'ateliers. De passage à Washington, D.C. ou elle a assisté au Séminaire pour Hauts Responsables organisé par le Centre d’Etudes Stratégiques de l’Afrique (CESA), « La Générale » Kani Diabaté a accepté de répondre à quelques questions. Générale Kani, Racontez-nous votre histoire, votre parcours. Je suis entrée dans les Forces Armées Maliennes en 1974. Je fais partie avec Fanta Konipo [décédée en avril 2011 NDLR] des pionnières dans l’Armée malienne. Je suis médecin de formation, spécialiste en stomatologie et en chirurgie maxillo-faciale et j’ai gravi successivement tous les échelons de la hiérarchie militaire et administrative, de médecin chef adjoint a la garnison de Bamako, jusqu'à consultante chef internationale, avec mandat du ministre pour « le genre dans les opérations de maintien de la paix ». J’ai été promue au grade de General de Brigade le 24 septembre 2010. J’ai mené plusieurs sessions de formations et plusieurs études sur des sujets aussi différents que « le genre dans les conflits » ou encore « les stratégies d’intégration du genre dans la reforme du secteur sécurité», en passant par « droits et protection des enfants avant, pendant et après les conflits ». Je dois préciser que pour moi la question de genre ne concerne pas seulement les femmes. Elle concerne aussi l’homme, la petite fille et les minorités. C’est un concept de construction sociale. Au cours de vos années de services quels changements majeurs avez-vous notés, vécus au sein de l’Armée malienne? J’ai noté une évolution vraiment positive de l’intégration des femmes au sein des Forces Armées Maliennes. Je me souviens que lors de mon recrutement, nous n’étions que deux filles admises sur concours, après le deuxième baccalauréat. Aujourd’hui beaucoup de composantes de cette armée ont du personnel féminin. Un certain nombre de femmes occupent même des postes de responsabilité. Connaissez-vous d’autres femmes Générales dans l’Armée malienne? Et en Afrique? Je suis la seule femme Générale de Brigade au Mali. Il ya cependant une femme Inspectrice Générale de la Police [Marie Claire Diallo, NDLR]. En Afrique de l’Ouest, je n’ai pas d’informations précises pour le moment. Aviez –vous déjà participé à une formation du CESA ou d’un autre organisme du Gouvernement Américain avant ce Séminaire pour Hauts Responsables de 2011? Je n’ai jamais participé à une formation organisée par le gouvernement des Etats Unis. C’est la première fois. Si cela est nécessaire, je reviendrai avec plaisir. Aujourd’hui comment percevez-vous la question du genre dans l’Armée malienne? Et d’une manière générale dans les armées africaines? Le genre est un concept évolutif, tant dans l’armée malienne qui a fait de grands efforts dans ce domaine, que dans les autres armées africaines. Il est souhaitable que les armées africaines soient de plus en plus formées aux questions de genre. Ceci parce que beaucoup de conflits en Afrique sont intra-étatiques et dans ce cas le personnel militaire féminin peut jouer, doit jouer un grand rôle. Former les armées africaines à la question du genre est d’ailleurs en droite ligne des résolutions 1325, 1888 du Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU, pour n’en citer que deux. La présence des femmes militaires est non seulement rassurante sur le terrain, mais aide aussi particulièrement dans la sensibilisation sur le VIH /SIDA ou encore la prévention contre l’utilisation des armes légères. Soit dit en passant, un séminaire aussi important que celui auquel j’assiste en ce moment devrait avoir un panel sur le genre ou la sexospecificite dans le contexte africain. D’ailleurs, je suis en ce moment consultante chargée par la Commission de l'Union Africaine à travers la direction Femmes, Genre et Développement de l'élaboration du projet de manuel de formation sur la prise en compte du genre dans les opérations de maintien de la paix. Que diriez- vous à une jeune africaine qui aimerait suivre votre exemple? Je lui dirais qu’il faut travailler dur, ne pas se décourager. Je lui dirais qu’elle doit aussi être consciente du fait que chaque personne doit apporter sa contribution au développement de son pays, sans distinction de sexe. Je voudrais en profiter pour remercier Son Excellence Amadou Toumani Touré, Président de la République du Mali, Chef Suprême des Armées, ainsi que le Haut Commandement Militaire de l’Armée malienne pour la confiance placée en moi à travers ma promotion au grade de Générale. Je voudrais dédier cette promotion à toutes les femmes africaines et particulièrement au personnel féminin des forces armées et de sécurité. Cette promotion prouve que le travail bien fait est toujours récompensé. Apres 36 ans de services, qu’est ce qui vous motive encore? La volonté d’être un exemple. En Afrique particulièrement la société, les us et coutumes, les forces de sécurité, ont besoin de prendre en compte la présence de la femme et son importance. Les filles d’Afrique ont également besoin qu’on les écoute, qu’on les sensibilise, afin qu’elles soient prêtes à occuper dans la société toute la place qui est la leur. Les femmes soldats ont également besoin d’être écoutées et entendues, pour pouvoir occuper la place qui est la leur dans les opérations de maintien de la paix. Plus globalement, toutes les composantes de nos sociétés, les femmes y compris, doivent être prises en compte pour un développement humain durable. C’est dans ce sens que j’adhère complètement au concept de soldat de développement et soldat humanitaire, cher au Président Amadou Toumani Touré. C’est également pour toutes ces raisons que je me bats tous les jours, pour mes sœurs maliennes, pour mes sœurs africaines et pour toutes les femmes du monde.
  • ACSS East Africa Office Facilitates Dialogue for Brenhurst Foundations

    acss-logo-webOn 18 June 2011 the Africa Center for Strategic Studies’ East Africa Office, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, assisted the Brenthurst Foundation in organizing a non-attribution discussion on the issue of recognizing Somaliland as a country. The discussion was characterized by those who attended as an excellent dialogue on an issue of regional importance.  In keeping with the ACSS’s vision, mission, and goals to advance U.S. Security Cooperation in Africa,  it facilitated the development of open and lasting relationships with partners by listening and conveying African views on African security issues of national security interest to US policymakers.

    The Forum was an opportunity for the Brenthurst Foundation team to present its findings and report to the assembled group for their review and comments.  It also provided for informal dialogue between representatives of the Somaliland government and the African Union.  In attendance were representatives from the Somaliland Government, Africa Union, Institute for Security Studies Addis, InterAfrica Group Addis, Ethiopian Government, Brenthurst Foundation, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, United States Mission to the African Union, Cambridge University, Danida/University of Copenhagen, and the European Union’s Delegation to the African Union.