Rule of Law and Security Sector Professionalism in Africa: Lessons Learned from Senegal and Beyond


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

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The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) and the Centre des Hautes Études de Défense et de Sécurité (CHEDS) will convene a roundtable that explores sound practices for security force professionalism and security sector governance in Africa.

The rise of military coups in West Africa has led uniformed and civilian security practitioners to re-examine the state of security sector governance at home and across the continent, and to re-evaluate how they can address the most pressing national and regional security threats to further ensure that strategies, policies, and practices are people-centered and citizen-focused. Senegal – along with several other countries like Ghana and Botswana – have a wealth of experiences to share about rule of law and security sector professionalism, sound security sector governance, and the benefits that democratic and civilian control of the security sector confer on states and society. Panelists and participants will discuss practical ways that security sector leaders can approach: (i) the politics and policies shaping rule of law, doctrine, and professionalism; (ii) the institutional dynamics influencing cultures of rule of law, doctrine, and professionalism; and (iii) the community-based elements of building trust between security sector actors and citizens that can legitimize democratic and civilian systems of security sector oversight rooted in rule of law.

Roundtable Objectives

  • Analyze the experiences of various African countries’ experiences with rule of law and security force professionalism, reflecting on strengths and weaknesses, best practices, and lessons learned on the local and national levels.
  • Assess the implications of different countries’ experiences with rule of law and professionalism for the future of good security sector governance in light of the recent wave of military coups, identifying areas for innovation, as well as possible challenges and targets of opportunity.

Recommended Readings


Session 1

Ms. Botlhale Makgekgenene
(Permanent Secretary, Botswana Ministry of Defense and Security)

Brigadier General Mohammed
(Director General IGD, Ghana Armed Forces)

General (ret.) Abdoulaye Fall
(Former Chief of Staff, Senegal Armed Forces)

Session 2

Dr. Émile Ouédraogo
(Adjunct Professor, ACSS, former Minister of Defense and Parliamentarian, Burkina Faso)

Colonel (ret.) Sankoun Faty
(Rule of Law Consultant, Senegal)


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