Security Sector Reforms in Africa

This video provides a rear-view mirror or if you will, a snapshot of some of the pressing areas of security sector reform under the Security Governance Initiative (SGI) in Ghana.

ASAS Awards Expo

ASAS Awards & Expo 2019 Chair Meets Top Diplomats In US and UK

Mr. Osei Bonsu Dickson, Chairman of the International Planning Committee for the 2019 Inaugural Africa Security and Safety Awards and Expo (ASAS Awards & Expo) has met with His Excellency (HE) Dr. Barfour Adjei-Barwuah and HE Paapa Owusu-Ankomah, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States (US) and Ghana’s High Commissioner to United Kingdom (UK) respectively.

Both meetings respectively took place during the final quarter of November 2018, starting with Mr. Dickson’s November 21st official visit to the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, DC where he conferred with the Ambassador there and other high ranking Ghanaian diplomats. The meeting was intended to promote and seek international diplomatic support for the 2019 ASAS to be held in Accra, Ghana.

Speaking to the Ambassador in the US the International Planning Committee Chairman of ASAS noted that security was one of Ghana’s major intangible and traditional exports to the world generally and Africa in particular. ASAS Awards & Expo is scheduled for May 22-25, 2019 at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

It could contribute massively to the country and the region’s GDP,” said the ASAS Chairman, indicating that as “the trade and security gateway to Africa, Ghana would internationally position itself as the best location for investors interested in reaching the 350 million security and safety market in West Africa.

ASAS Awards & Expo 2019 to inject increased security awareness

The 2019 Expo is one of the major upcoming exhibitions in Africa encompassing commercial, homeland security, border, maritime and cybersecurity,” Mr. Dickson noted. He went on to reveal that the Expo was a $300M US dollars investment event that is projected to attract some 4,000 visitors, 28 speakers, and a host of international exhibitors from over 60 countries.

Ambassador Adjei-Bawuah pledged the full diplomatic support of the Embassy for the event particularly in the areas of event promotion to the US market, saying it was “a very laudable event that will go a long way to fitting into President Akufo-Addo’s agenda to establish a Ghana beyond aid. This will also initiate the needed conversation on the importance of security in all its forms that could push Ghana’s economy and society rapidly into a more modernized era and investor/tourist friendly venue.“

Other senior diplomats at the Embassy of Ghana that joined HE the Ambassador in hosting Mr. Dickson that day were Eric Boateng — Head of Chancery, Brigadier Abu — Defence Attache, Joseph Ngiminibaye — Consular and Stella Ansah — Trade Attache.

Center for Strategic and Defense Studies (CSDS) Africa (headquartered in Accra, Ghana) are organizers of the event, they will receive support from the Government of Ghana under the auspices of the Africa Union (AU).

CSDS Africa is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to the improvement of security and governance transitions in stable, fragile, failed and conflict-affected states in Africa. The organization maintains a global, multi-disciplinary network of researchers, practitioners, and academics specializing in the field of international peace and security.

ASAS Awards & Expo 2019 takes promotional efforts to the UK

On November 26, 2018, Mr. Dickson arrived in London to confer with Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, HE Paapa Owusu-Ankomah on ASAS. Like Ghana’s Ambassador to the US, Ambassador Owusu-Ankomah also lauded the ASAS event and promised to fully support it in any way he could.

Joining HE Owusu-Ankomah at Ghana’s High Commission to the UK to receive Mr. Dickson were Gabriel Owusu Ansah — Minister-Counsellor/Welfare & Consular, Freda Bediako-Puni — Minister-Counsellor/Political & Economic and other high-level diplomats.

A couple of days after the UK High Commission meeting, Mr. Dickson went ahead to attend the 2018 International Security Expo Olympia (ISEO) in London that held from November 28-29. The theme for the expo was ‘Evolving Security through Innovation‘. At that expo, he seized the opportunity to present the 2019 ASAS Awards & Expo to the international audience.

London’s ISEO was a great learning opportunity for me, it afforded me an amazing networking opportunity and first-hand glimpses into ideas I know we will transplant into the 2019 inaugural awards and expo in Ghana and Africa come next year.” — Mr. Dickson.

Mr. Dickson subsequently signed the Guest Book at both Ghana Missions in the UK and US and presented an autographed copy of his popular book, ‘Dickson on Principles of Security Law‘ to both Ambassadors respectively. Visit for info about ASAS and how to partner or sponsor it.


ASAS Awards Expo

2019 Africa Security and Safety Awards, Expo slated for Accra

Mr. Cephas Adjei Mensah, Deputy Director, Ministry of Aviation has on behalf of the Minister for Aviation, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda inaugurated the National Planning Committee for the 2019 Africa Security and Safety Awards (ASAS Awards) and Expo.

He said the Hon. Minister extended his warmest greetings to CSDS Africa and D7 Security Limited, organizers of the event for their initiative in staging the ASAS Awards. He said it was the vision of the Ministry to make Ghana an aviation hub within the West Africa Sub-Region and safety and security was a priority for the sector.

He reiterated that in April 2018, the Ministry hosted the Sub-Saharan Africa Aviation Security Conference in collaboration with the UK Department for Transport to showcase new trends in global aviation security and how sovereign states can deal with them; in that regard indicated the upcoming 2019 ASAS Awards and Expo was therefore in order. He recalled that a few weeks ago at a high-level meeting with a team from CSDS Africa, the Hon. Minister shared his thoughts with the team on how to make the event successful and assured the National Planning Committee of his fullest support.

The Chairman of the National Planning Committee, Mr. Osei Bonsu Dickson, said the 2020 and 2021 edition of the event will be hosted by South Africa and Kenya respectively.

Speaking on behalf of Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister for National Security, Col. Ababio Serebour, Chief Director of the Ministry for National Security said both the Ministries of Aviation and the Ministry for National Security found it beneficial to partner with and support the event organizers, CSDS Africa and D7 Security Limited to position Ghana appropriately on the international security and safety map in the areas including aviation security, industrial safety, national security, financial, personal, cyber and maritime security among others.

He explained that the 2019 ASAS Awards and Expo was in line with the Government’s vision of a Ghana beyond aid, and would provide a platform to prove local capacity, enhance investment, and facilitate exchange of ideas.

Speaking to reporters, Ms. Esther Appiah, co-chair of CSDS Africa and a member of the National Security Council said socio-economic activities held the answer to economic challenges facing the country, and that the ASAS Expo would bring together industry key players, investors, visitors and other stakeholders locally and internationally. Further, the Awards will enable the continent to recognize and honour deserving individuals and organizations.

The Very Reverend Father Andrew Campbell who commissioned the members of the National Planning Committee encouraged the organizers to go beyond borders and work with a deep sense of commitment and purpose.

Participants present included Phil Heyl, U.S. Government Advisor to the Security Governance Initiative (SGI); Ms. Rosevera Nsiah, PRO for Ghana Maritime Authority; Mr. Gabriel Kwaku Owusu, former Managing Director of Ghana Airways; Mr. Kingsley Sarkodie, HR Director, Sanford; Dr Angela Lamptey, University of Ghana; Dr Adjei Addison, CEO of D7 Security Limited; various members from the Association of Private Security Organizations of Ghana (APSOG) and Safety Professionals, various media organizations including GTV, Metro Tv and the Presidential Press Corps.

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African Security News

Cameroon President Launches Campaign on Northern Border
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Cameroon Braces for Anglophone ‘Independence’ Anniversary
Cameroon’s restive anglophone regions were in lockdown on Monday as separatists prepared to celebrate the one-year anniversary of a symbolic “independence” declaration just a week before nationwide presidential polls. A 48-hour curfew was imposed on English-speaking towns in the regions which have been rocked by deadly clashes sparked by the majority francophone country’s sensitive linguistic divide. Gunfire was reported on Sunday night in the flashpoint town of Buea in the country’s southwest which has been at the heart of the nascent insurgency. In other English-speaking areas, shops and bars were ordered to close, meetings of more than four people were banned and transport was suspended. AFP
Chad Troops Kill 17 Boko Haram Fighters after Lake Chad Attack
Six people, including two soldiers, died in an overnight Boko Haram attack near Lake Chad with Chadian troops killing 17 assailants in a counter-offensive. Three forestry officials, a customs officer and two soldiers were killed in attacks on Moussarom and Ngueleya located in the Lake Chad region, a security source told AFP news agency on Saturday “The attackers were later repelled,” the source said. Chadian army spokesman Colonel Azam said “17 Boko Haram members have been killed”, although he put the civilian death toll at three instead of four. Al Jazeera
Thousands in First Big Protest against Burkina Leader
Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets of the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou on Saturday, the first major protest against the leadership of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore. “No to insecurity, terrorism, to corruption, to unemployment,” chanted the protesters in the first such march organised by the opposition since the election of President Kabore in November 2015. “We are here because the country is in danger,” said opposition leader Zephyrin Diabre, rejoicing in “the very, very strong mobilisation”. Burkina Faso, which borders Mali and Niger, has been the scene of deadly jihadist attacks since 2015. AFP
Congo Opposition Pledges Unity and Joint Candidate at Rally
Seven key opposition leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo pledged unity and promised to back a single candidate against President Joseph Kabilas chosen successor in Decembers election.Such an outcome would increase the chances of Kabilas opponents defeating Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister under European Union sanctions for his role in human rights abuses. The Dec. 23 poll is a one-round contest and multiple candidates would split the anti-Shadary vote. The opposition must be united behind a candidate that we will choose and that we will support, Jean-Pierre Bemba told thousands of people in Congos capital, Kinshasa. Only four of the seven politicians can run for the presidency. Bemba, who finished second to Kabila in 2006, was disqualified by the electoral agency and Moise Katumbi, a onetime ally of the president whos been in self-imposed exile for more than two years, was blocked by Congolese authorities in August from returning to the country to file his candidacy. The electoral commission also excluded Adolphe Muzito, a former prime minister. Bemba and Katumbi addressed the crowd from abroad by phone. Bloomberg
Nigeria Ruling Party Nominates Buhari for Re-Election in 2019
Nigeria’s ruling party has nominated President Muhammadu Buhari as its candidate to stand for re-election in February 2019, a spokesman for Buhari said on Saturday. Buhari had run unopposed on Friday in a nationwide primary for nomination as the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress. The main opposition People’s Democratic Party has not yet selected a candidate to oppose him. Reuters
Burundi Suspends Some NGO’s for Violating New Law
Burundi has suspended some local and international non-governmental organizations for three months for violating a new law, a senior government official said late on Thursday. The move could deepen opposition concerns that a crackdown by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government is being extended. In May, a referendum approved a change to the constitution that makes it possible for him to stay in power until 2034. Violence surged in 2015 when Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term in what many said was a breach of the constitution. He won a subsequent election but the decision to stand sparked protests and a crackdown.
South Sudan President Orders to Release PoWs and Detainees
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Thursday ordered to release all the prisoners of war, and detainees in line with the revitalized peace agreement In his Republican Order N° 17, President Kiir directed the Chief of Defence to release the prisoners of War (PoWs) and detainees immediately under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In his decision, Kiir stressed the need to register and hand over the released Pows and detainees to a third party (the ICRC). The presidential decision comes in line with Chapter II (Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements) article 6 of section one dedicated to the permanent ceasefire. Manawa Peter Gatkuoth SPLM-IO Deputy Chairperson of the National Committee for Information and Public Relations said they had already released all the PoWs.
Somali FM Calls for End to UN Arms Embargo
Somalia’s foreign minister is telling the U.N. General Assembly that his young government has made significant strides in fighting violent al-Shabab militants, and called on the world body to lift its long-standing arms embargo. Ahmed Awad Isse says young people are no longer joining al-Shabab as they used to because “that ideology is no longer popular.” In his address on Saturday, Isse said the Somali government has been engaging with religious leaders, young people, the elderly and women to “turn the tide against the twisted ideology of hate and religious intolerance.” Isse also notes that many, including some of the militant group’s senior commanders, have taken the government’s amnesty offer and surrendered peacefully.
Cartoons That ‘Humiliate’ Officials in Rwanda Now a Crime
A new law in Rwanda says drawing cartoons or producing writing that “humiliates” a government official is now a criminal offense. Journalists say the law that took effect on Thursday will greatly affect work that is meant to hold public officials, including Cabinet members and security officers, to account. A cartoonist who breaks the law faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $1 145. If the cartoon targets a member of parliament or top-ranking official, the penalty doubles. At least one Justice Ministry official is asking who will determine whether someone has been humiliated. The Rwanda Journalists Association’s executive secretary says it’s easy for officials to take cartoons negatively.

Ghana Hosts Regional Border Security Seminar

Accra, Ghana – On Wednesday August 29, representatives from the governments of the United States of America, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, and Togo participated in a regional border security strategic partners seminar held at the West African Regional Training Center (RTC) in Accra, which is operated by the U.S. Department of State’s …