Africa Center Research Paper No. 6

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Advancing Military Professionalism in Africa

By Emile Ouédraogo

July 31, 2014

Officers from Kenya, Burundi and Uganda plan military operations for a simulated scenario

Concerns over weak military professionalism are a common thread woven through assessments of security contexts in Africa. Militaries collapsing in the face of irregular forces, corruption that hollows out otherwise robust forces, and politicized military leadership are among the regular storylines that emerge from Africa’s conflicts and crises. Such outcomes are not inevitable, however. By resolving ambiguities in the mission and oversight of the military as well as common adversarial relationships between soldiers and citizens, some African states have demonstrated commendable—and replicable—progress in overcoming the political and economic disincentives to professionalism that encumber many African security services.

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Publication Type: Research Papers

Security Topic(s): Security Sector Governance