APSACO 6th edition : African Security in times of uncertainties - DAY1

July 20, 2022

2021 was a year of global geopolitical disruption and geo-economic upheaval. As events gather momentum, the world enters a period of geopolitical and geo-economic transition; the end of one historical cycle foreshadowing the uncertain prospects of a new one. We are henceforth, in presence of a true global shift with multiple pressure points and driving forces: geopolitical, economic, climatic, technological, security and sanitary.

The African continent, which over the past two decades pursued a process of diversification of economic, political, and military partnerships at State and institutional levels – both continental and regional – stands to be affected to varying degrees. Indeed, global economic conditions combined with Africa's structural challenges exacerbate underlying trends with irreversible geopolitical consequences:  First, the war in Ukraine occurs at a time when the global geopolitical stage is fraught with China-U.S. tensions and difficulties in defining new world order leverage points. It therefore becomes a stake in an already entrenched dynamic sustained by a logic of optimal solution (minimum cost-maximum benefit). Next, food security in Africa is jeopardized. The capacity to securely access sufficient food is severely impacted by the sequence of conflicts, natural disasters, and epidemics.  Additionally, climate change increases conflict risk in several areas by further exacerbating existing social, economic, and environmental factors. Populations in these areas are among the most vulnerable to the climate crisis and the most neglected by climate action. Finally, the institutional weakness and instability of several States are major obstacles in the fight against violence and poverty.  Overcoming this vulnerability, in its economic and environmental dimensions, is a vital priority for Africa.

This state of affairs begs a few critical questions:

What are the repercussions of war on African States in terms of struggles for influence on the continent as well as economic, military-security and diplomatic constraints? What individual and collective resilience and affirmation strategies should African States pursue in the face of this situation? What implications are there for food insecurity in Africa? How can Africa’s food security be improved? What challenges does climate change entail for Africa? What specificities do fragile states have in Africa?  How to sustainably strengthen States in post-conflict contexts?

Jalal Abdel-Latif
Senior Fellow
Jalal Abdel-Latif is Senior Fellow at Policy Center for the New South and Senior Social Policy Advisor, Gender and Poverty, Social Policy Division, UNECA. Jalal has over 25 years of professional experience in the areas of corporate social responsibility, civic engagement, grant making, project design and enhancing the capacities of non-profit organizations. He began his career as researcher and capacity analyst at UCLA African studies center, before working as Grants manager for USA for Africa (the We Are the World project) in California. He was also a co-founder and CEO of Inter-Africa Group, a regional think thank.  He was previously appointed by the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia to serve on the Ethiopian Telecommunications Board of Directors to assist in its modernization ...
Bankole Adeoye
Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, African Union Commission
Bankole Adeoye is a Pan-African Career Diplomat with over 3 and half decades of experience. A strong advocate of Africa’s regional integration and inclusive partnerships, Ambassador Adeoye building synergy across Africa for good governance, durable champions the peace, security and sustainable development. Ambassador Adeoye assumed office as the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace & Security on 15th March 2021, having been elected in February 2021 during the 34th AU Summit. Prior to this appointment, he served as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the AU and the UNECA and Ambassador to Ethiopia with concurrent accreditation to Djibouti from 2017 to 2020. With educational qualifications including B.A. (Political Science & History – Ife) and MSc ...
General Birame Diop
Military Adviser, Office of Military Affairs, Department of Peace Operations, United Nations
General Birame Diop was born in Thies, Senegal on 29th March 1961. After completing his Secondary Education, the General joined Senegal Airforce initially completing training at the Royal School of Marrakech, Morocco. During his illustrious career, the General had held numerous key positions. Notably, he was appointed as Chief of the Airforce on promotion to the rank of Brigadier General in January 2015. He remained the Chief of Staff of the Private Staff of the President of Senegal from November 2017 to December 2019. On his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General in January 2020, he took over as the Chief of the General Staff of the Senegal Armed Forces. He was promoted to the rank of Airforce General in January 2021. General Diop has a vast working experience as part ...
Rachid El Houdaigui
Senior Fellow
Rachid El Houdaïgui is a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South and an Affiliate Professor at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. He also serves as a professor of International Relations at Abdelmalek Essaadi University's Law Faculty in Tangier. His expertise encompasses international relations, geopolitics, defense and security, focusing on the Mediterranean region, North Africa, and the Arab world. He also serves as a professor at the Royal College of Advanced Military Studies in Kenitra and is a visiting professor at Cergy-Pontoise University (Paris), Cadiz University (Spain), and La Sagesse University (Beirut, Lebanon).   He is the founder of the Moroccan-Spanish review "Peace and International Security" and oversees the Observatory of Mediterranean Studies ...
Andrea Grazioso
Senior Analyst, NATO Strategic Direction – South Hub
Graduated in Economic and Financial Politics, he spent 14 years working as an analyst both in Italy and abroad with primary think tanks, including RAND Corporation in Washington D.C., Centre for Defence Studies and Caucasus Policy Institute of the King’s College of London, ISIS Europe in Brussels, as well as in the Italian Centre for High Defence Studies, Military Centre for Strategic Studies (CeMiSS). Adjunct Professor at Pavia University since 2011, from 2012 to 2018 he was Senior Civil Servant (Dirigente) in the Office of the Italian Minister of Defence, and Advisor to the Minister for politico-military matters and for academic activities. Among his achievements, he was co-author of the Ministerial Directive for Military Policy of 2012 and of the Italian Defence Whi ...
Leon Hartwell
Senior Advisor for the Central and South Eastern European Programme (CSEEP) at IDEAS, London School of Economics
Dr. Leon Hartwell is the Senior Advisor for the Central and South Eastern European Programme (CSEEP) and a Sotirov Fellow at IDEAS, the London School of Economics, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington D.C.  His research interests include conflict resolution, genocide, transitional justice, diplomacy, and democracy. Previously, Hartwell was CEPA’s Acting Director of the Transatlantic Leadership Program and a Title VIII Fellow.  From 2012 to 2013, he was also the Senior Policy Advisor for Political and Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Zimbabwe, where his work included government and civil society engagement, political reporting, peace building projects, and supporting human ri ...
Major General Francis Ofori
Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, KAIPTC
Major General Francis Ofori is the Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). Maj Gen Francis Ofori was commissioned into the Engineer Corps of the Ghana Army in August 1985. He has successfully completed all his mandatory career progression courses. The courses include the Junior Command and Staff Course at the Command and Staff College, Jaji, Nigeria, Combat Team Commander’s Course at Army Combat Training School (Ghana), Senior Command and Staff Course at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College and Comparative Command and Staff Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth. Gen Ofori also attended the German Army Engineer School, Munich, Germany, the United States Army Engineer School, F ...
Bakary Sambe
Regional Director, Timbuktu Institute - African Center for Peace Studies
Dr. Bakary Sambe was born in 1972 in Mbour. He is the regional director of the Timbuktu Institute - African Center for Peace Studies (Dakar, Niamey, Bamako). Founder of the Observatory of Radicalisms and Religious Conflicts in Africa, Sambe is a teacher-researcher at the Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (Senegal). His current work focuses on endogenous strategies, cross-border dynamics, and the testing of agile approaches in crisis zones. As an expert for the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, etc., he designed and led the advocacy for the implementation of the G5 Sahel Regional Cell for the Prevention and Counter-Radicalization (CELLRAD), accompanied the process of developing national strategies in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and the Central African ...
Lieutenant General Daniel Sidiki Traoré
Burkina Faso
Force Commander, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)
Lieutenant-General Sidiki Daniel TRAORE attended the Royal Military Academy (RMA) in Meknes (Morocco) from 1978 to 1981 and the Mechanized Infantry Basic Officer Course at Fort Benning (Georgia) in 1982.  He graduated from the Ecole de Guerre de l'Ecole Militaire de Paris. Lieutenant-General Traoré has held senior positions in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Burkina Faso.  General Traoré has also participated in various high-level courses, workshops, and seminars on peace operations, the most important of which are listed below: The 6th Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa which was held from November 18-19, 2019. The 3rd Annual African Peace and Security Conference (APSACO) organized by the Policy Center for the New South in Rabat, Morocco, fro ...
Licina Simão
Coordinator, Atlantic Centre
Licínia Simão holds a PhD in International Relations and is assistant professor at the School of Economics of the University of Coimbra, where she teaches in International Relations. She is also a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, in the same university. As of December 2018, she has been on official duty as a staff member in the office of the Portuguese Minister of Defence, where she has been coordinating the Atlantic Centre initiative since August 2021. She has several academic publications in national and international journals and editors. She is an auditor to the National Defence Course and is a member of several reflection groups at the National Defence Institute, namely dealing with the Atlantic and National Strategy. ...
General Mohamed Znagui Sid’Ahmed Ely
Head of Defense and Security Department, G5 Sahel
He did his primary and secondary studies in Mauritania before joining the Royal Military Academy of Meknes in Morocco from 1978 to 1981 where he followed his initial training as an officer. He occupied several functions in Command, in Schools and in Staff before completing his higher education in Mauritania, in France and in China. He then reached the high functions of Command and Staff before joining the Military Diplomacy. He was appointed to the rank of Brigadier General on January 1, 2012 and was appointed Chief of the Joint Staff Committee CEMOC in Tamanrasset then Inspector General of the Armed Forces and Security before being admitted to the reserve on February 20, 2014. General Znagui is currently a Defense and Security expert at the G5 Sahel. He is married with 6 ...
Fouad Yazourh
Ambassador, Director General of Bilateral Relations and Regional Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans living abroad
Fouad Yazourh is a career diplomat with over 30 years of experience. A strong advocate for Morocco’s foreign policy, he has held a wide variety of roles in Morocco’s diplomatic infrastructure. He is currently Director General of Bilateral Relations and Regional Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans living abroad, assuming office in February 2018. Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Yazourh held several strategic positions supporting Morocco’s foreign policy. From 2003 to 2006, Ambassador Yazourh served as Minister Advisor to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Madrid. In 2006, Ambassador Yazourh was appointed Director of Communication at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Ambassador Yazourh served in this role until ...