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Emerging Security Sector Leaders Seminar

Program Materials  

A two-week program held in June 2022 for mid-level African security sector professionals who are emerging leaders within their fields. With an emphasis on peer-to-peer exchanges, this seminar embodies the Africa Center’s mission to advance African security by expanding understanding, providing a trusted platform for dialogue, building enduring partnerships, and catalyzing strategic solutions.

Assessing Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) Coalition in the Sahel

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

Whose Crime Is It Anyway? Organized Crime and International Stabilization Efforts in Mali

Recommended research   published by Peter Tinti, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime on February 1, 2022

Most illicit markets in Mali are, in fact, part of an informal economy run by communities seeking economic opportunities in a highly insecure environment. Nevertheless, stabilization efforts mistakenly view them as linked to organized crime or terrorist activities. Militarized responses have added to, not mitigated, instability in the region. Interventions should better support Malian communities and help them mitigate the negative impact of criminal agendas.

Africa’s Complex 2022 Elections: Restoring Democratic Processes

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 11, 2022

Responding to the coups, conflicts, and other derailments of democratic processes in recent years, Africa’s 2022 elections are, in large part, an effort to right the democratic ship of state on the continent.

Deluge of Digital Repression Threatens African Security

Spotlight   published by Nathaniel Allen and Catherine Lena Kelly on January 4, 2022

African governments are using the pretext of security to restrict digital communications and citizens’ rights. In the process, they are inadvertently contributing to economic losses and greater instability.

Why Al-Shabaab Persists in Somalia Webinar

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

Making Arms Embargoes in Africa More Effective

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on November 22, 2021

Arms embargoes can be effective but require regional and international buy-in, adequate monitoring, and the imposition of sufficient costs on actors who evade the sanctions.

Collaborative Policing and Negotiating Urban Order in Abidjan

Africa Security Brief No. 40   published by Maxime Ricard and Kouamé Félix Grodji on November 9, 2021

Community-based security groups are emerging in African cities in response to rising crime and overstretched police forces. Experience from Abidjan shows that collaboration with the police, avoiding coercive tactics, and retaining citizen oversight councils are key to the effectiveness of these groups.

Into Darkness? Scrutinizing Economic Explanations for African Jihad

Recommended research   published by Stig Jarle Hansen, Hudson Institute on October 27, 2021

Despite much speculation about the connection between Africa’s militant Islamist groups and organized crime, there is very little evidence of convergence between the two. Rather, connections tend to be limited to militant Islamist groups taxing criminals’ enterprises in exchange for safe passage. Even for those who may be more involved in the illicit economy, it’s important to understand why—are they doing it for profit only or for other purposes, such as to fund governance and/or public services for the communities they control. These distinctions have important implications for how best to tackle self-described militant Islamist groups.

Enhancing Security-Justice Coordination to Counter Transnational Organized Crime

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program cohosted with the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism that focuses on effective community policing as a tool for countering violent extremism. This program provides an opportunity to capture and share insights, experiences, and lessons, among countries and across regions, about both the implementation challenges in community policing and the practical experiences in bridging gaps between the security sector and the communities they are entrusted with protecting and serving