On Friday, March 22, 41 mid-level African security officers, primarily majors and lieutenants-colonel, from 36 countries across Africa completed the Next Generation of African Security Sector Leaders Course, a three-week program conducted in Washington, D.C., by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). The program focuses on enhancing professionalism, ethics and leadership in the security sector.
“We tried to establish during these three weeks a correlation between professionalism, ethics and military leadership,” said Dr. Mathurin C. Houngnikpo, ACSS Chair in Civil-Military Relations. “These three things go together.”
The course also aims to help participants develop the practical tools needed to address the security challenges facing the continent. “Three weeks ago we set out on a journey together to explore the many security challenges impacting Africa today with the intent of helping you, the next generation of African security leaders, develop some new, practical, and effective tools to help you contribute to your nation’s security,” ACSS Director Michael E. Garrison told participants during the closing ceremony.
During the course, participants examined leadership, ethics and governance in the context of issues relating to civil-military relations, national security, transnational threats, defense economics, and the role of African institutions and international partners in African security. The program also included site visits to the Department of State, the U.S. Army War College, and the Gettysburg battlefield and engagements with senior U.S. defense and military officials.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Major General Charles W. Hooper, Director of Strategy, Plans and Programs (J-5) at U.S. Africa Command, emphasized the value of the relationships developed by participants in the program. “As we learned from the wide breadth and depth of this program, these security issues are complex, multi-faceted and respect no borders,” said Hooper. “It is only by working together that we can begin to counter these challenges.”
“The Next Generation of African Security Sector Leader Course,” he said, “continues to be a timely and significant program in preparing the participants to work together and with the United States as we work to confront the security challenges we all face on the continent.”
For more on the Next Generation of Security Sector Leaders Course, see Video of General Hooper’s Remarks.