About us - Regional Programme Security Policy for West Africa
The security policy crises in sub-Saharan Africa (Mali crisis; Boko Haram; civil war in Central Africa; terrorist attacks in Kenya) have made the need for an intensified dialogue on security policy in the region increasingly clear in recent years.
The challenges facing this region have been steadily increasing since the beginning of the 21st century. Coordination of the states in the region and their decision-makers on successful joint initiatives against violent, extremist and terrorist actors often remains in its infancy or is only tackled half-heartedly. Coordination with the parliamentary sphere is rarely considered necessary. The dialogue between the security forces and the population is too often still in its infancy and should therefore be strengthened. In addition, the states of the region are characterised by fundamental economic and political fragility. In view of this development, the importance of the military as a factor of order in the region remains, whose potential for settling unrest is recognised as a stabilising factor by both the population and the political elites. The democratic constitution of the armed forces is therefore all the more important.
The KAS regional programme SIPODI, established in 2015, builds on the analyses, networks and working methods that the Political Dialogue programme in West Africa has successfully used and developed for a decade in dialogue with parliamentarians, security forces and experts.
The dialogue between Africa and Europe is an important building block, especially in the area of confidence building between the militaries of the two continents. In addition, the implementation of the priority on peace and security of the "Joint Africa- EU-Strategy (JAES)" is a priority.
Priorities and target groups
Following the successful establishment of an office infrastructure, existing contacts in the security policy field were transferred to the new programme and new contacts were established in the states neighbouring the regional programme. The main focus of the events is to stabilise the exchange between the security forces. This involves creating an environment in which political decision-makers and young civilian elites can enter into dialogue with the military.
The target groups of the measures implemented in the regional programme are: Officers and representatives of national security forces in decision-making positions, members of parliamentary committees on security and defence, staff of ministries and think tanks, security policy experts in Africa and Europe, representatives of relevant EU and AU institutions, journalists and diplomats.
Thematically, the project is oriented towards the current security policy challenges and problems on the subcontinent. Among others, the topics "Regional Security Policy, Destabilising Factors and Prospects", "The Fight against Terrorism", "Organised Crime as a Regional Destabilising Factor", "Religious Extremism in the Urban Milieu" as well as "ECOWAS Intervention Capacities and Early Warning Systems in the Region" will be dealt with. With the involvement of the countries concerned, a transnational policy dialogue and regional networks are to be created or strengthened, which will lead a substantive discussion of global and regional challenges to democracy, security and development.
By expanding an established network of security policy-relevant actors from Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, the KAS creates an institutionalised forum that makes it possible to discuss relevant issues in an environment of trust and beyond official positions, to identify blockades and challenges and thus to come one step closer to problem solutions.
The new regional programme SIPODI carries out its work in close cooperation and coordination with the regional programme Political Dialogue in West Africa and with the KAS country offices in the region.