Several representatives of West African countries, supported by the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) and the United States, began Monday in Dakar, consultations for the establishment of a national strategy taking into account the specificities of each of their states.“Elaborating and implementing a national security strategy is key to achieving a country’s security goals. This workshop will examine several issues including the link between the formulation of the National Strategy for Security and Strategic Leadership, resource management, consideration of civilian control and the need for external partnerships” Dr Tulinabo Mushingi, the US Ambassador in Senegal observed.
The US diplomat, speaking at the opening of the workshop on developing a national security strategy for West Africa, acknowledged that security challenges “are not homogenous in the West African” For example, Mr. Mushingi emphasized that “a team effort that requires the cooperation of many agencie” is crucial to ensure that security strategies are successful.
At the end of this high-level workshop that will end on August 10, each country must be able “to establish its security priorities and a coping plan,” said Tulinabo Mushingi who has, in addition, put a special emphasis on the need for “realism” in the expected strategies.
For his part, Augustin Tine, the minister of the Armed Forces, argued that “we live in a world fraught with uncertainties in the evolution of the international environment with a high degree of unpredictability that forces states to take into account the emerging threat and observe paradigm shift in terms of strategy.”
According to Mr. Tine, “taking these risks into account requires the development of anticipatory, adaptive and responsive defense and security capabilities.”
For her part, Kate Almquist Knopf, director of the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), said that her institution conducts “research and analysis” that are disseminated to reduce the risk of conflict in the continent.
This Dakar meeting is a continuation of the inaugural workshop on the development of a national security strategy (SDSN) held in January 2017 in Washington DC (United States).
75 African senor officials, mainly from West Africa, participate in the work focusing on the principles, practices, development and implementation of a national security strategy in the region.