African Union (AU)

The advent of the African Union (AU) can be described as an event of great magnitude in the institutional evolution of the continent. On 9.9.1999, the Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity issued a Declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view, inter alia, to accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalisation.

No programmes have been added yet.

Facilitation support to the AU-IGAD Member States Workshop

AU mandate in AU 26/09/2017 - 29/09/2017
  1. The ISSAT Expert is needed to deliver a session on SSR strategic planning processes and guide participants from AU Member States in the Eastern African Region on how to initiate their national SSR planning and implementation processes.
  2. The expert will also assist in the facilitation of the workshop deliberations and processes.

Support to the AU “Training and sensitization workshop on the OGN on code of conducts for African security institutions"

AU mandate in AU 17/09/2018 - 26/09/2018

Under the 2013 programme ‘Building African Union Capacities in Security Sector Reform’, the African Union Commission (AUC) has produced a number of SSR Operational Guidance Notes (OGN) and other policy documents to support the implementation of the AU-SSR Policy Framework. Amongst these is the OGN on “code of conducts for African security institutions” which requires priority dissemination given the recommended setting-up of normative frameworks by Member States.

In addition, the AUC is currently on an advanced stage in the process of development of two important PSO policy tools, namely i) AU  Policy on Code of Conduct and Discipline in Peace Support Operations and ii) AU policy on prevention and response to sexual exploitation and abuse for Peace Support Operations.


Support to the AU on the 2nd Africa Forum on SSR

mandate in AU 01/07/2018 - 30/11/2018

The Commission of the African Union (AU) will convene the 2nd Africa Forum on Security Sector Reform (SSR) on 22 – 24 October 2018. The workshop will take place at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The aim of the 2nd Africa Forum on SSR is to take stock of SSR developments on the African continent and to map a way forward for AU Member States, RECS/RMs, the international partners and African stakeholders. DCAF is requested to support the African Union Commission in the organization and management of the event before, during and after the dates of the event.


Sensitization workshop on DDR and SSR : « sharing lessons learned and good practices »

AU mandate in Mali 01/02/2019 - 31/03/2019

As part of its annual programme of work, the Commission of the African Union (AU) is supporting the Government of Mali through its Mission in Mali and in the Sahel (MISAHEL) to organize a Sensitization workshop on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reform (SSR): “Sharing lessons learned and best practices” on 5-7 March 2019, in Bamako. 


The objective of the workshop is to identify the current progress and challenges of the accelerated DDR process; to discuss issues of integration and national frameworks to support the existing processes and promote best practices, and experience sharing from other Member States whom have undergone similar experiences.


Given the AUC-DCAF JDI on SSR collaboration, DCAF has been asked to support the AUC DSD and the MISAHEL during the workshop. The following DCAF assistance is envisaged:

  • Attend the workshop to share experiences;
  • Stand-in as panel facilitators and speakers in specific sessions, according to the final programme

Two SSR experts (one from ISSAT, one from SSAD) will take part in the workshop.  

DCAF’s support involves collaboration between SSAD and ISSAT, with the latter leading the DCAF team.


Support to the facilitation of the inaugural meeting of the AU Steering Committee on SSR

AU mandate in AU 07/08/2019 - 10/10/2019

To provide surge capacity to the AUC DSD in the conceptualisation and implementation of a successful first SSR Steering Committee meeting through:

  • Input and assistance in finalization of the Draft Concept Note and Terms of Reference.
  • Provision of comment/input on the draft Agenda.
  • Facilitation of panel discussions on the implementation of the AU SSR Framework in Member States engaged in SSR initiatives.
  • Presentation on relevant topic (TBC).
  • Support the AUC on strengthening engagement with regional and international partners to collectively improve their support to Member States activities related to SSR.
  • Support the identification of recommendations and way forward for the Steering Committee based on needs and actions identified.
  • Reinforcement of the secretariat on reporting.

IGAD Capacity Building Training for Security Sector Development and Women Empowerment

AU mandate in AU 31/07/2019 - 26/08/2019

Following the submission of a comprehensive proposal for DCAF’s collaboration with IGAD’s Peace and Security Division, IGAD’s Security Sector Programme (ISSP) has requested ISSAT to reinforce the capacity of their team delivering a three-day Training Workshop on Security Sector Development, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment. This activity contributes to the implementation of IGAD’s ongoing regional peace and security strategy.


The aim of this mandate (in addition to incoming requests in 2019) is to pilot the envisaged collaboration with a view to better understand IGAD’s ISSP modus operandi , and to incrementally build the partnership contributing to deliver on SDG 5, 16 and 17.


AU/REC Workshop

AU mandate in AU 01/12/2016 - 17/12/2016

The aim of the workshop is to enhance institutional coordination in SSR support between the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) through joint planning and review.


Reinforcing African Union SSR Unit support to national SSR processes (Madagascar)

AU, Ireland mandate in Madagascar 01/03/2017 - 31/08/2017

The Defense and Security Division (DSD) of the African Union (AU) requested ISSAT's support to reinforce the assistance of the African Union (AU) to national SSR processes, starting with Madagascar.

ISSAT provided one advisor who supported the AU SSR Unit and the African Union Liaison Office (AULO), in assisting the implementation of the SSR process. The advisor was deployed on a short-term mission to Madagascar, which was reinforced by backstopping from ISSAT's core staff, over the course of the year.

  • The first deployment: 1) provided an assessment of the state of play of the SSR process, and of the AU support to it, reflecting on challenges of coordination; 2) analysed one of the main causes of human insecurity and drivers of conflict in the country, i.e. the Dahalo phenomenon, and its underlying linkages to the SSR process in terms of effectiveness and governance of the security institutions;
  • The focus of subsequent ISSAT support to the AU within this specific mandate built on the findings and recommendations of the first deployment.

High-level sensitisation and training workshop on the National SSR process in Madagascar

mandate in Madagascar 18/06/2018 - 28/06/2018

ISSAT was requested to support the African Union Commission, by providing two experts to facilitate workshop sessions as appropriate. The workshop aimed to maintain momentum of the national SSR process by enhancing capacities of participants on SSR concepts, and brainstorming on the interaction and collaboration between the future BNC/RSS and the SPDSN as a new organ whose mandate complements and overlaps with the SSR process. It targeted high-level national officials from the SPDSN/HCDN, the Ministry of National Defence, the Parliament as well as representatives of the former CTO RSS.

The specific objectives were to:

  • Enhance  capacities of participants on SSR concepts, norms and standards, including the AU SSR Policy Framework;
  • Enhance capacities of participants on SSR Planning, implementation and coordination mechanisms;
  • Learn from comparison, building on the experiences of SSR processes in other African countries taking into account fundamental principles related to the elaboration of National Security Strategies,
  • Discuss the challenges and possible solutions of the effectiveness of the BNC/RSS, its synergy and complementarity  with the recently launched parallel process of National Security Strategy, as well as  the improvement of coordination with international partners, and how best to develop resource mobilization strategies.

Africa Union DDR Conference

AU, World Bank mandate in Ethiopia 12/05/2015 - 13/05/2015

The Defence and Security Division (DSD) of the Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the African Union has been implementing a DDR Capacity Programme with support from the World Bank. The Programme aims at strengthening DDR capacities within the AU, its member states, the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms to support national and regional DDR initiatives.  It is divided into three pillars, namely institutionalizing DDR capacity in the AU, Knowledge Management and Direct support to member states.  The workshop is being organised under the Knowledge Management component. The two expected products, i.e., the Compendium on DDR Experiences on the African continent and the Training Manual on DDR aim to be tools to train DDR practitioners according to best practices and recent innovations in the field.


ISSAT’s participation in the event will strengthen the evolving work relations with the African Union’s Peace and Security Department.

No vacancies have been added yet.

Policy and Research Papers

Report of the African Civil Society Consultation on the Draft African Union Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform

The African Union (AU) held an African civil society consultation on the draft AU Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform (SSR), in Abuja, Nigeria, from 22-24 November 2010. This publication presents the main highlights and conclusions of the consultation.


African Union Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform (SSR)

Africa is generally recognized as the theatre where the vast majority of SSR processes take place, particularly as part of post-conflict reconstruction. Yet, such SSR processes have been mostly informed by externally-generated policy frameworks and assumptions that often do not necessarily align with the realities and sources of insecurity of African peoples, states and societies.

In this policy framework, the African Union aims to reiterate its recognition of, and commitment to, existing normative frameworks on SSR, particularly those developed by the United Nations and other multilateral actors. The AU policy framework on SSR emanates from the recognition of the continuing gap between existing approaches to SSR and deficits in the delivery and governance of security in many AU Member States.


Report of the Joint Security Sector Reform Assessment Mission to the Central African Republic

This report is a product of the Joint Assistance Mission to CAR, conducted by the African Union, European Union, the United Nations and the African Security Sector Network, in conjunction with the Government of the CAR. It presents an analysis of the evolution of the CAR security sector, the current situation since the crisis that started in 2013, a threat assessment of the country, and makes recommendations, on the way forward in the short term before the elections planned for 2015, and in the medium and long terms after the elections.


Executive Summary
Findings of the Mission
Summary of Recommendations
Chapter I – Political, Socio-economic and Security Context

  • Political
  • Socioeconomic Analysis
  • Existing spoilers and armed groups
  • The Ex-Seleka Coalition
  • The Anti-Balaka Militias
  • Zaraguinas “coupeur de route”
  • Poachers
  • The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

Chapter II - Threats Assessment of the Central African Republic

  • Overview
  • Borders and Neighbours
  • Environmental Threats
  • Demographic Stress
  • Inter-communal Violence

Chapter III – The CAR Security Sector Reform Coordination Mechanism

  • Background on the coordination mechanism
  • Current Coordination Mechanisms
  • Gap analysis
  • Recommendations
  • Short-term (Until the elections)
  • Medium-term (After the elections)

Chapter IV - Police, Gendarmerie and the Status of Intelligence Services

  • The Police and Gendarmerie before the 2013 crisis
  • The National Police
  • The Gendarmerie
  • The Police and Gendarmerie after the 2013 crisis
  • Observations and Recommendations
    • Short term (Before the elections)
    • Long term (After the elections)

Chapter V – The Central African Armed Forces (FACA)

  • Background
  • The CAR Air Forces and Fluvial Battalion
  • Current Status of FACA
  • National and International Framework
  • Operational challenges
  • International community projects related to the army
  • Threats to and opportunities for the army
  • Recommendations
    • Short-term (Before the elections)
    • Medium-term (After the elections)

Chapter VI - The Forest Guards and Customs Services

  • The CAR Forest Guards
  • The Customs Services
  • Recommendations

Chapter VII – The Justice and Penitentiary System

  • Overall organisation
  • The Penitentiary System
  • Observations and Recommendations
  • Short term (Before the elections)
  • Medium term (After the elections)

Chapter VIII - Democratic Control and Non-State Actors

  • Overview and arrangements for the transition period
  • Civil Society & non-state actors
  • Private Security Companies
  • Recommendations
    • Short-term (Up to the elections)
    • Medium and long-term (After the elections)

Chapter IX – The Gender Dimension in the Current Context of the Central African Republic

  • The realities and opportunities of gender mainstreaming in CAR
  • Gender issues in the armed and security forces
  • Recommendations
    • Short-term (Up to the elections)
    • Medium and long-term (After the elections)

Chapter X - Linking Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform in Central African Republic

  • Background and Former DDR assistance
  • Background from 2008 to 2013
  • Background from 2013 to February 2014
  • The importance of coordination at different levels
  • Challenges
  • Recommendations for the improvement of linkages between DDR and SSR
    • Short-term (Up to the elections)
    • Medium-term (After the elections)

ANNEX I - Members of the Joint Assessment Mission
ANNEX II - List of People and Organisations consulted
ANNEX III - Table of current support provided by the International Community on SSR related issues
ANNEX IV - Constellations of Stakeholders in the Security Sector of the CAR


Meeting the challenges of SSR implementation in Africa

challenges of implementation

Leading African stakeholders in peace, security and development have contributed to the global SSR debate, and advanced an African understanding of SSR. Since the inception of the AU Policy Framework and through mutual support and strengthening of regional initiatives, policy and practice of SSR in Africa has reaped benefits.

So where then do the current challenges lie? Evidence points to significant implementation gaps in SSR, due to deficits in key areas including commitment to governance and oversight, impacting programmes across the region. There is a greater need to approach security through a wider lens that sheds light on challenges that are transnational in nature and require support and engagement especially on the political level. Therefore there is an ever growing need to address fundamental shortcomings in four core areas: good governance, political commitment, capacity, and sustainability. Read on to explore what Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security, African Union Commission and Mr. Miroslav Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic address challenges of SSR implementation in Africa.  

To read the full article please go to Meeting the challenges of SSR implementation in Africa.


Continental Results Framework for Reporting and Monitoring on the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa (2018 - 2028)

This Continental Framework for Reporting and Monitoring on the Implementation of Women Peace and Security Agenda was launched in February 2019. 

The Continental Results Framework (CRF) for Monitoring and Reporting on the WPS Agenda in Africa has been in the making for the past 4 years beginning 2014, when the Office of the Special Envoy (OSE) was endowed with the duty to develop a monitoring and evaluation tool on the implementation of the WPS agenda in Africa. 

This tool provides a policy framework for tracking the progress made on implementing the commitments on WPS by the Commission and the Member States through the various instruments. 

For full access to the Continental Results Framework for Reporting and Monitoring on the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa (2018 - 2028), kindly follow the link. 


Other Documents

Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform - African Union (English)

African Union Framework on Security Sector Reform (English)

Other Document

Union Africaine Cadre d’orientation sur la Réforme du Secteur de la Sécurité (Fr)

Union Africaine Cadre d’orientation sur la Réforme du Secteur de la Sécurité (2013)

Other Document