What memories stick out when you think about your time with the Africa Center? The Golden Spear program, almost 24 years ago, marked my introduction to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. At that time, Africa’s strategy was more geared towards peace. However, as the years passed, especially from 2002 onwards, there was a noticeable shift. The dynamics evolved, and the demand for peacekeeping missions escalated, driven by challenges such as the rise of Boko Haram in West Africa and persistent issues in Somalia. This transformation underscores the changing landscape of strategic priorities in addressing security challenges across the African continent.
Can you expand on the political aspect of today’s security concerns on the African context? The most critical security concerns for Africa, in my perspective, are often rooted in political stability. If there’s a sound political environment with leaders adhering to constitutional norms, security tends to be more robust. However, when leaders overstay their terms or manipulate constitutional rules, it can lead to political instability, and subsequently affect security adversely.
What advice do you have for emerging security officials? Emerging security officials must embody professionalism and be well-prepared. This involves not only academic and practical training but also an understanding of both nationalism and internationalism. This prepares them to contribute not only to the security of their own nation but also to international efforts, fostering a sense of global responsibility.
Please tell us about the Force Commanders program that you are participating in at the Africa Center this week. Today’s program, bringing together officers from diverse regions, is highly beneficial. We exchange insights gained from different environments and learn from each other’s experiences. This cross-cultural collaboration allows us to build connections and understanding. It’s not just about the present; it’s an investment in future collaborations and partnerships.