National Security Strategies

National security strategy development and implementation is key to addressing regional, sub-regional, and national security challenges. It is also a central component of security sector governance, supporting effective oversight of and accountability within African security sectors. This collection of Africa Center presentations, discussions, and analysis highlights the priorities, challenges, and processes of creating national security strategies and putting them into practice.


Q&A: Developing Inclusive National Security Strategies in Africa

By the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, January 25, 2017

Africa needs a different kind of national security strategy—an inclusive, citizen-centric framework that accounts for the complex threats facing Africa today, says the Africa Center’s Assis Malaquias.


Adapting National Security Strategy in Times of Change: Part 1, Part 2

By Daniel Hampton, November 3, 2016

Col. (Ret.) Daniel Hampton discusses a case study on U.S. defense engagement with Africa. How did their defense relationships get to where they are today?

By Luka Biong Deng, November 3, 2016

Dr. Luka Biong Deng analyzes the role and development of national security strategies in the face of internal and external shocks and threats.


Resource Mismanagement a Threat to Security in Africa

By Paul Nantulya, September 7, 2016

Ideally, the size, equipment, and posture of the military are determined by a threat assessment, itself a product of a national security strategy development process. A discerning assessment curbs waste because it matches resources to the nature of the threat, which in turn guides procurement.


Toward More Inclusive National Security Strategy

By Martin Rupiya, July 6, 2016

Debates about national security are traditionally viewed as the preserve of the state, but that is starting to change as strategy-making becomes more professional and inclusive. Martin Rupiya, a defense expert based at the University of South Africa, discusses the trends, challenges, and opportunities.


More Than a Technocratic Exercise: National Security Strategy Development in Africa

By Paul Nantulya, May 31, 2016

An inclusive national security strategy process is more likely to reflect sound technical methodology, strategic perspective, and unique national concerns.


National Security Strategies: Team Building and Coordination

By Phillip Carter, Devendre Gopaul, Lassalette Boa Morte, and Eugene Goussikindey, May 17, 2016

This panel discussion looks at current security challenges in Africa and how to address them at the strategic level.


National Security Strategy

By Thomas Dempsey, November 7, 2014

Former Africa Center Chair of Security Studies Col. (Ret.) Thomas Dempsey offers perspectives on where national security strategy and policy are moving and why it matters for security sector professionals.

Africa Security Brief

Advancing Military Professionalism in Africa

By Emile Ouédraogo, July 31, 2014

Concerns over weak military professionalism are a common thread woven through assessments of security contexts in Africa. By resolving ambiguities in the mission and oversight of the military as well as common adversarial relationships between soldiers and citizens, some African states have demonstrated commendable—and replicable—progress in overcoming the political and economic disincentives to professionalism that encumber many African security services.


National Security Strategies: Ensuring Inclusive National Conversation

By Thomas Dempsey, January 30, 2014

Across Africa, there is rapid movement toward the development of national security processes in regimes that had never previously had them. Former Africa Center Chair of Security Studies Col. (Ret.) Thomas Dempsey discusses the trends.

Africa Security Brief

Optimizing Africa’s Security Force Structures

By Helmoed Heitman, May 31, 2011

Combating irregular forces has become a common feature of the contemporary African security landscape. However, the security sector in most African countries is ill-prepared to conduct effective counter-insurgency operations. Realigning force structures to address these threats while building security sector professionalism to gain the trust of local populations is needed to do so.