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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.

Urban Fragility and Security in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 12   published by Stephen Commins on April 30, 2011

Estimates are that more than half of all Africans will live in cities by 2025. This rapid pace of urbanization is creating a new locus of fragility in many African states—as evidenced by the burgeoning slums around many of the continent’s urban areas—and the accompanying rise in violence, organized crime, and the potential for instability. These evolving threats, in turn, have profound implications for Africa’s security sector.

Misinterpreting Ethnic Conflicts in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 4   published by Clement Mweyang Aapenguo on April 30, 2010

Ethnic conflicts in Africa are often portrayed as having ages-old origins with little prospects for resolution. This Security Brief challenges that notion arguing that a re-diagnosis of the underlying drivers to ethnic violence can lead to more effective and sustainable responses.

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.

Advanced Area Studies 201 Workshops (AFRICOM/CJTF-HOA/MARFORAF)

Program  

This advanced-level seminar provides a thorough examination of leading security issues in Africa, including governance challenges, transnational threats, and engagement by the United States and other external actors on the continent. Each seminar session includes a presentation from a subject matter expert who will raise key issues and themes and facilitate discussion among participants. As an... Continue Reading

Effective Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Strategies in Africa

Program  

The program examines COIN strategies within the context of African security sector institutional capacity and work to identify African-driven problem-solving approaches to address conflict, violence, and instability that are having a negative impact upon the security of the state and the populace.

Security-Development-Governance Nexus

Program  

This project examines strategic-level implications of the mutually-reinforcing relationship between economic development prospects and persistent insecurity in Africa’s fragile states.

Security Sector Transformation in Challenging Contexts

Program  

The state of insecurity on the African continent, especially in post-conflict countries, has led to numerous questions about how best to provide and enhance security at the national and sub-regional levels. The Africa Center's security sector transformation and reform (SST/R) workshops provide a forum for assessing the trajectories of post-conflict and transitioning societies towards security.