Over 50 senior-level security leaders from the East African Community (EAC) member states and the United States are attending a week-long workshop designed to increase understanding of the African security landscape.
The workshop that opened on Monday also seeks to solicit support and capacity building in countering trafficking and counter terrorism on the continent. The workshop, titled ‘East African Community Regional Chapter Workshop: Countering Illicit Trafficking and Irregular Threats,’ is sponsored by the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the United States Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).
It is being organized in conjunction with the EAC and Africa Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS) alumni chapters in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
“Today, Eastern Africa in general, and the East African Community specifically, face significant challenges in illicit trafficking of goods, drugs, weapons and people; and in irregular threats, such as militias, insurgent groups and international terrorists,” said Michael Garrison, ACSS Acting Director, while opening the workshop.
“Our intent is simple; to bring together uniformed and civilian security officers at this workshop to explore and discuss ways to better posture yourselves to have a safer and more prosperous region,” Garrison said. The week-long workshop is focusing on efforts to improve coordination and regional cooperation between African law enforcement, civilian intelligence, and border security agencies on the one hand, and lawmakers and legal practitioners on the other.
Participants will share information, identify best practices and develop recommendations for the way forward, including proposals for projects that Africa Centre alumni chapters in EAC member countries can undertake following the workshop. “The theme of this workshop addresses itself to issues of specific concerns to the East African Community,” said Dr Julius Rotich, Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community, in his keynote address.
“The theme of illicit threats is pertinent and thus the timing for this workshop could not have been better than what it is now,” he said. The Africa Centre for Strategic Studies is a US Department of Defence institution for security studies, research and outreach in Africa.
Africa Centre programmes and symposiums gather perspectives and recommendations from a cross-section of international security-sector officials, public servants, and civil-society representatives. Thousands of security, government, and civil-society professionals from across Africa have attended African Centre programmes since the center’s founding in 1999.
Source Tanzania Daily News