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Optimizing Africa’s Security Force Structures

Africa Security Brief No. 13   published by Helmoed Heitman on 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.

Democracy and the Chain of Command: A New Governance of Africa’s Security Sector

Africa Security Brief No. 8   published by Dominique Djindjéré on November 30, 2010

Download this Security Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português As many African countries continue down the path of democratic reform, Africa’s defense and security forces must make fundamental changes to adapt to a democratic model of governance. In this paper, General Dominique Djindjéré puts forward five priority reforms Africa’s defense and security... Continue Reading

Nonstate Policing: Expanding the Scope for Tackling Africa’s Urban Violence

Africa Security Brief No. 7   published by Bruce Baker on September 30, 2010

Download this Security Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português The increasingly internal nature of Africa’s security threats is placing ever greater pressures on Africa’s police forces. Yet severe resource and capacity limitations, combined with high levels of public distrust, leave most African police forces incapable of effectively addressing these expanding urban-based threats in... Continue Reading

Africa’s Fragile States: Empowering Extremists, Exporting Terrorism

Africa Security Brief No. 6   published by Zachary Devlin-Foltz on August 30, 2010

Download this Security Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português Persistent reports of extremist activity from across Africa have deepened concern over the spread of radicalism on the continent. Extremists capitalize on political and security vacuums within Africa’s fragile states to grow their support base and consolidate their strength. Stable states that provide... Continue Reading

Lessons Learned from Peace Operations in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 3   published by Paul D. Williams on March 31, 2010

Download PDF: English | Français | Português Peace operations have been a principal tool used to curb conflict in Africa over the past decade, with over 40 operations deployed since 2000. This Security Brief takes stock of lessons learned from these experiences and the implications they hold for improving the effectiveness of future peace operations... Continue Reading

Additional Reading on Environment and Security

Recommended research   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 14, 2010

Climate Violence? By Clionadh Raleigh, Oxford Martin School, May 11, 2017 “Climate change causing conflict” arguments are not supported by the evidence. There is no evidence, for example, that pastoralist versus farmer conflicts in Africa are due to climate change. There is, however, much evidence that these conflicts are the result of government interference in... Continue Reading

U.S. Security Engagement in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 1   published by William M. Bellamy on September 15, 2009

A significant development in Africa over the past decade has been the generalized lessening of violent conflict. Revitalized, expanded international peacekeeping, bolstered by a newly launched African Union determination to tackle security challenges, has reinforced this trend. But, much more cohesive interagency coordination under strong White House direction is required if the United States is to contribute to Africa’s sustained stability given the region’s persistent conditions of poverty, inequality, and weak governance.

Research

Africa Center research offers strategic analysis of Africa’s security challenges and practical, evidence-based insights into paths forward.

Additional Reading on Police Sector Reform

Recommended research   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on January 1, 2000

Building Police Institutions in Fragile States: Case Studies from Africa By Richard Downe, Center for Strategic and International Studies, January 13, 2013 In sub-Saharan Africa the police sector is often an underperforming institution, typically because of low resources or politicized leadership. The resulting insecurity harms government legitimacy and frustrates entrepreneurship and economic growth. African security... Continue Reading