A high-level delegation of African security professionals, representatives of governments and regional institutions across Africa, and senior U.S. government officials convened in Washington April 10-12, 2013, for the second annual African Executive Dialogue.
African Executive Dialogue provides a venue for candid discussion of current and emerging security challenges.
Approximately 35 people attended the executive dialogue, hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS).
This year’s Executive Dialogue examines ways of unlocking the potential of Africa’s Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), a collection of interlinked continental and sub-regional institutions established to help prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts across the continent.
“While APSA indeed holds considerable promise, it has faced considerable challenges when dealing with intra-state crises of late, including those in Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali,” said Dr. Carolyn Haggis, Instructor at the Africa Center and an expert on Africa’s peace and security architecture. “Delayed responses from these established structures have resulted in most solutions being generated outside of the AU’s [African Union’s] formal framework for conflict prevention and management.”
“APSA was designed during an era when civil wars were the dominant challenge facing African states. The security environment in Africa is constantly evolving, however, and today low-level insurgencies, extremist groups, and transnational organized crime are some of the greatest security challenges the region is facing,” Dr. Haggis added. “This dialogue offers an opportunity to discuss whether APSA is properly configured for Africa’s shifting security landscape and, if not, to brainstorm solutions to unlock its potential to deal with current and emerging challenges.”
Topics of the African Executive Dialogue discussions included exploring lessons learned from recent peace operations, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the African peace and security architecture, and pinpointing the areas where reform may unleash the collective security architecture’s untapped potential. Through the Executive Dialogue, ACSS seeks to generate concrete recommendations that can be used to inform the policy dialogue on possible future courses of action by regional and international actors and build new relationships and strengthen existing ones.
The Africa Center for Strategic Studies is the pre-eminent Department of Defense institution for strategic security studies, research, and outreach in Africa. The Africa Center engages African partner states and institutions through rigorous academic and outreach programs that build strategic capacity and foster long-term, collaborative relationships.