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Africa Center for Strategic Studies Holds Managing Security Resources in Africa Seminar in Kigali, Rwanda
Opening ceremonies were held May 11, 2009 at the "Managing Security Resources in Africa" seminar in Kigali, Rwanda. Thirty-eight mid-level military and civilian officials from 12 Central and Eastern African countries attended the seminar to analyze
Opening ceremonies were held May 11, 2009 at the "Managing Security Resources in Africa" seminar in Kigali, Rwanda. Thirty-eight mid-level military and civilian officials from 12 Central and Eastern African countries attended the seminar to analyze the importance of applying practical resource management principles in Africa's security sector. During the week, participants at the annual capacity-building seminar, conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense's Africa Center for Strategic Studies, aimed to reinforce the link between effective resource management and the attainment of national security goals. They also examined the policy, institutional, and capacity challenges facing practitioners in Africa; the intended and unintended consequences of various models of resource management in Africa; the importance of predictable policy environments, transparent procedures, and accountable officials; adopting appropriate, internationally-recognized budgetary and procurement practices; and the roles and responsibilities of civilian and military leaders in effectively managing Africa's security resources. At the opening ceremonies, guest speakers emphasized the common theme that national security is inseparable from socio-economic development. Keynote speaker Prosper Musafiri, Director General of Macroeconomics and Planning, Rwandan Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said security and economic development need to work in order to create sustainable socio-economic wealth. He advised participants not to be discouraged by a lack of resources, using Rwanda as an example of a nation that has made great progress in the area of security in spite of its financial limitations. Urging participants to work for regional integration, Musafiri added, "It is not possible to address present threats to human and global security without close regional and international collaboration." U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda W. Stuart Symington said the ideals of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," as contained in the American Declaration of Independence, are relevant to developing nations in Africa today. He correlated life to security, liberty to rule of law, and the pursuit of happiness to quality of life; issues that Africans face every day. The Honorable Mrs. Rosemary Museminali, Rwanda's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, encouraged participants to broaden their idea of security so that it goes beyond the military focus and promotes long-term stability and peace. She emphasized that factors such as poverty, mismanagement of resources, discrimination, and corruption, among others, may all contribute to insecurity. Museminali noted that Rwanda has achieved political stability while reducing security expenditures. She attributed this to clear political leadership that is highly committed to providing security for the people. She added that an effective security management strategy must also include environmental awareness, good management of natural resources, food security, and a poverty reduction strategy. Celebrating this year the 10th Anniversary of its founding, ACSS is one of five U.S. Department of Defense regional centers that provide strategic-level education to international civilian and military personnel through a combination of multi-week courses, short-term conferences, seminars and workshops, and outreach. [Editor's note: The Africa Center for Strategic Studies works closely with U.S. Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM) to study longt-erm security and stability in Africa.]
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