The theme of “Security privatisation in ECOWAS” was the focus of a conference held from 11 to 13 June 2014 on the premises of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s Office in Cotonou. Participants were drawn from Bénin, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana and Togo amongst others.
The objective of the conference was to make an inventory of security privatisation in the ECOWAS region and its implications on security sector governance. For this purpose, the conference provided an opportunity to various stakeholders and experts to assess the scope of the phenomenon in the sub-region, but also to clarify the role of everyone (state and individual) in enhancing human security.
During the three days, various presentations have informed the participants on the issue. Among others, Professor Dominique BANGOURA and Professor Odile Attanasso respectively presented the “State, insecurity, safety and security privatisation in Africa’’ and ’’The usefulness of gender in private security sector’’.
It clearly appeared that the private security sector is growing due to conflicts regularity of in West Africa. The actors in this sector are increasingly solicited to the detriment of traditional public security bodies. They often respond to the needs generated by post-conflict reconstruction, intelligence, clearance, and paramilitary expertise. Because of their experience and efficiency in providing timely results to both governments and multinationals or even to private individuals, it was highlighted that private security actors, while being useful for economic development, may constitue a threat to security sector governance. The participants developed various practical recommendations towards national governments and the ECOWAS to face the implications of PMSCs in security sector governance:
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