Border Governance Approaches to Countering Transnational Organized Crime

Academic Webinar Series

Ongoing through 2022
Recommended Readings

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The African Union Strategy for a Better Integrated Border Governance (2020) has significant implications for countering and preventing transnational organized crime. In particular, it raises questions about the possible transformation of often military-heavy border security approaches into multi-sectoral and people-centered border governance initiatives to address these issues. Border spaces can be strategic areas for criminal networks involved in activities like natural resource crimes, human smuggling and trafficking, and cattle rustling to exploit; they are also places where state and societal actors can collectively address security challenges arising from illicit economies. The cross-national social networks that shape political and economic life in border spaces also have potential to foster resilience to the drivers and harms of transnational organized crime.

This webinar series will provide analysis of border security and governance challenges that African states are facing across the continent in multiple criminal markets. It will also provide insight into the multi-sectoral responses that security sector leaders are part of mounting to build community resilience to such challenges. Overall, the webinars will seek to explore how the security sector fits into integrated border management approaches that engage border communities and local officials in addressing the drivers of transnational organized crime.

Session 1  |  Thursday, January 20, 2022

Natural Resource Crimes and Border Governance in Africa

Session Objectives:

  • Understand the key actors involved in natural resource crimes, their incentives, and the ways they make use of border spaces.
  • Explore the ways that natural resource crimes affect and involve border communities, and how a range of national and local officials, as well as non-state actors in those communities, have responded to these crimes.
  • Discuss the ways that security sector actors can use border governance frameworks and approaches to address natural resource crimes on the national and local levels.


  1. Dr. Oluwole Ojewale
    (ENACT Regional Organized Crime Observatory Coordinator for Central Africa, Institute for Security Studies-Africa)
  1. Dr. Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood
    (Lecturer, University of St. Andrews)
  1. Brigadier General (ret.) Gaseikanngwe Ace Peke
    (Independent Consultant)


Dr. Catherine Lena Kelly
(Associate Professor of Justice and Rule of Law, Africa Center for Strategic Studies)