Please introduce yourself. My name is Ms. Marie Reine (Tete) Longue. I am an Assistant Research Officer and Translator-Interpreter at the Cameroon Ministry of Defense, Military Secretariat, Translation and Interpreting Unit. I participated in the Africa Center program, “Emerging Security Leaders Seminar (ESSL),” held from June 5–23, 2023, in Washington, D.C.
Did the Africa Center help you hone your skills and knowledge? Yes. The Seminar enabled me to fine-tune my knowledge of megatrends and their impact on security issues in Africa, and precisely how these megatrends (climate change, urbanisation and demographic change) can exacerbate security problems in Africa. I also had the opportunity to improve my knowledge of strategic leadership in general, and in the field of security in particular. In terms of personal skills, during group discussions I was able to enhance my listening and analysis skills, and improve my speaking and argumentation techniques.
How would you describe your experience of working with the Africa Center on security issues in Africa? The Africa Center provided participants with a wide range of physical (magazines, documentaries, extracts from dissertations and theses, etc.) and digital documents related to various security areas in Africa. Similarly, the Africa Center maintains ties with participants in the various programs by sending out a press review by e-mail, from Monday to Friday, containing news on African countries with a link to security (security crises, elections, migration trends, international relations, trade, etc.).
In your opinion, what is the most pressing security concern for the African continent, now and in the future? In my opinion, the most pressing security concerns in Africa are political instability, especially during transition periods, which weaken the state system and lead to multiple conflicts. These conflicts are in turn intensified by economic, social, and environmental pressures.
Have you had any contact with people from the program you took part in, whether Africa Center staff, teachers, or participants? Yes. Mostly with ESSL 2023 participants, sometimes through the seminar participants’ WhatsApp forum, but very often with the other participants directly, on various current topics, about the seminar, our day-to-day work, our professional projects, and so on.