African knowledge and experience have contributed much to the evolution of the SSR concept and Africa continues to be the main area for SSR programmes. DCAF is strongly committed to supporting African states and citizens in enhancing democratic governance of the security sector. Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa are members of DCAF’s Foundation Council.
As a neutral and independent organisation, DCAF has established relations and developed partnerships with a wide range of African governments, parliaments, military and security forces, civil society actors as well as regional organisations, such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the South African Development Community (SADC). DCAF also works with bilateral donors and international organisations, including the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN), to support African-led SSR efforts.
DCAF aims to:
- promote common continental and regional standards and approaches to democratic governance of the security sector
- contribute to nationally-driven SSR initiatives
- reinforce African security sector governance constituencies, with particular emphasis on parliamentary and civil society oversight in the areas of defence and security
- strengthen the integration of gender issues in SSR processes and support the full participation of men and women in the democratic governance of the security sector
- fill gaps in knowledge on SSR/SSG challenges in Africa
Key projects in the region include:
- working with ECOWAS to develop the Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces and Security Services of the ECOWAS and promoting the Code of Conduct’s principles in ECOWAS member states
- developing a guide for West African parliamentarians on parliamentary oversight of the security sector
- providing DCAF/ISSAT assistance to EU justice reform programmes in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- contributing to the development of a continental SSR policy framework by the AU Commission
- conducting capacity building activities on SSR with relevant staff in AU’s Department of Peace and Security
- supporting security sector institutions in West Africa in developing gender-sensitive security structures, policies and practices
- building the capacity of security sector oversight institutions in West Africa, including parliamentarians and civil society organisations, to exercise gender-sensitive oversight of the security sector
- developing region-specific research materials and tools for the integration of gender into SSR.
- producing policy relevant research including publications such as Security Sector Transformation in Africa , Challenges of Security Sector Governance in West Africa , etc.
For more information on Africa-related DCAF activites please download the factsheet.