Why Does Rule of Law Matter for Security Sector Effectiveness in Africa?

Academic Webinar

December 16, 2021

English | Français | Português

Biographies: English | Français | Português

Rule of law is accepted as a core element of sound security governance in Africa. Yet it is often also depicted as a net hindrance to the security sector’s mission. This contradicts the evidence that rule of law and rights are critical to peace, stability, and accountable governance – each an important aspect of the kind of security that citizens want states to provide. This webinar will address the strategic interests that African security sector leaders have to make rule of law part of their plans, projects, and day-to-day work, both within security sector institutions and vis-à-vis the populations they serve. It will discuss several core elements of rule of law to clarify what it is in principle and as a process. It will show how integrating rule of law into efforts to counter security threats – whether from violent extremism, conflict, and transnational organized crime, and across land, maritime, and cyber domains – can enhance the security sector’s effectiveness in the long run.

Webinar Objectives

  • Discuss what rule of law is as a principle and a process and identify some of its key features.
  • Consider how factors related to the rule of law, rights, and security force professionalism can influence African security dynamics.
  • Share knowledge and experiences that demonstrate the strategic benefits that security sector leaders gain from bringing rule of law into their responses to threats and challenges.
  • Analyze the accompanying practical challenges that security sector leaders face to investing in rule of law systems with checks and balances to further people-centered security.

Recommended Readings


Brigadier General Thiaca Thiaw (Deputy Commander of the National Gendarmerie and Deputy Director of Military Justice, Senegal)

Dr. Ibrahim Wani (Independent Consultant, former Chief of the Research and Right to Development Division at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)

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


Dr. Luka Biong Deng Kuol (Dean of Academic Affairs, Africa Center for Strategic Studies)