Scholars and security experts from across Africa are meeting here this week to discuss a variety of issues through an academic symposium hosted by U.S. Africa Command.
Approximately 100 participants from African militaries, universities, non-government institutions and think-tanks have gathered for the symposium at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center. The participants include representatives from Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Botswana, Cameroon, DRC, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Kenya, Senegal, and Burkina Faso.
“This symposium serves as a means for us to solicit the academic community’s input on how to best support whole of society security cooperation in Africa, “said U.S. Africa Command Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Engagement Ambassador Phillip Carter III. “It will help foster an ongoing critical dialogue between the academic community and security professionals so we can better understand how to work with all security partners and stakeholders on the continent.”
The theme for the symposium is “Perspectives and Partners on Population-Centric Security Sector Transformation.” Discussions throughout the week will focus on topics such as the best practices of security cooperation with traditional and local authorities, the role of private sector entities in security matters, how to enhance civil-military relationships, and how to deal with the issues related to environmental security.
U.S. Africa Command is one of six of the U.S. Defense Department's geographic combatant commands and is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for military relations with African nations, the African Union, and African regional security organizations. A full-spectrum combatant command, U.S. Africa Command is responsible for all U.S. Department of Defense operations, exercises, and security cooperation on the African continent, its island nations, and surrounding waters. U.S. Africa Command began initial operations on Oct. 1, 2007, and officially became an independent command on Oct. 1, 2008.