ECOWAS Trains Stakeholders and Institutions in the Security Sector and Relevant Oversight Realms

Stakeholders and Institutions in the Security Sector and Related Oversight Realms are trained by ECOWAS.

The African Security Network (ASSN) hosted a training course at the Dunia Hotel in Bissau from the 24th to the 26th of January 2022.

Organized through the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations Project (EPSAO), co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ), the  objective of this workshop was to promote a better understanding of Security Sector Reform and Governance among core security sector stakeholders, raise awareness through dissemination of the ECOWAS SSRG Policy Framework and to mainstream gender into security sector reform by means of promoting the role of women, men, boys and girls in the peace and security realm.

The training workshop was attended by key stakeholders from Guinea Bissau, such as the Military Corps, National Defense Institutions, the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Administration/Public Order Police, National Guard, Office of the National Coordinator for DSSR, Director-General of State Information Services, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and Service Chiefs: army, navy, air force, Plataforma Política das Mulheres, RENLUV-GB, RENAJ, League of Human Rights, ALTERNAG, the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS Commission (SRPC) Guinea Bissau, the United Nations, representatives from the African Union Liaison Office in Guinea Bissau and the EPSAO Project.

Virtually the training workshop was attended by  representatives from the African Security Sector Network (ASSN), the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), the European Union and the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA).

During his welcome speech to participants, Colonel Mama Jaquite representing the Ministry of Defense encouraged participants to seize the opportunity granted to them to critically engage in the discussions and take ownership of the process by identifying the peculiar reform needs of the country’s security sector and collectively recommending the next steps of action by the various national stakeholders in operationalizing the ECOWAS SSRG Policy Framework.

He added that the citizens and the country are the ones to benefit from a successful SSRG process, so there is a need for national stakeholders to take ownership of the process entirely.

Following him, Technical Advisor, Ms. Subetta Chansa from the GIZ – EPSAO project stressed that this training workshop would create and increase opportunities for the participants to share knowledge and increase collaboration amongst key stakeholders in an effort towards accelerating the SSRG agenda within Guinea Bissau.

The African Security Sector Network (ASSN), represented by Professor Eboe Hutchful reiterated that the training workshop was not intended to re – visit past experiences, but rather to re-ignite and re-energize the conversations around SSRG in Guinea Bissau on the basis hopefully of a better comprehension of key concepts and guidelines of SSRG.

Professor Eboe further emphasized that these trainings particluarly prioritized the exluded sectors of society, particulary the youth and women who should be the core recepients of state attention.

For this reason 40% of the participants are meant to be women and youth institutionally represented by their civil society organizations.

Also speaking at the event, Mr Okey Uzeochina expressed, that the ECOWAS Policy Framework for Security Sector Reform is not a standalone tool.

It is important in – terms of norm setting and promoting common standards for security governance across Member States of ECOWAS, However, along with the Policy Framework, ECOWAS has also led the development of an implementation plan to guide the application of the ECOWAS SSRG Policy Framework in Members States.

In addition to this plan, specific Toolkits have been developed by DCAF/ISSAT to accompany the Policy Framework.

Together, these documents make a complete package of ECOWAS support to Guinea Bissau and all ECOWAS member states on improving the security sector.

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