Supporting Security and Capacity Building Efforts in Africa

Event time: 8:45-18:30 EST (UTC-5) / 14h45-00h30 CET (UTC+1)

There is a clear consensus today on the multidimensional nature of security issues and of the responses they require. Issues as diverse as climate change, gender-based violence, armed conflicts, and terrorism are in reality often interconnected. Responding to them – or at least effectively and appropriately supporting the response developed by our partners – therefore requires a comprehensive approach, understood in terms of links and bridges to be made across issues, as well as across levels of action. Though the African continent is not alone in facing these multidimensional security challenges and response efforts, it has nevertheless been at the forefront of the most recent reflections on how to best address them.

The workshop aims to explore the innovative approaches that have been deployed to support peace and security efforts by various actors–local, national, regional, and international–and the linkages across some of these practices to showcase and assess the multidimensional efforts currently underway in Africa. How do we design responses to security challenges in an innovative, coherent, and comprehensive manner? How do we respond to the multidimensionality of security challenges and the fact that they tend to be multi-layered, while ensuring that the responses are based on and strengthen national and local initiatives, skills, and capacities? Answering these questions necessarily involves bridging sectors and communities of actors. The workshop aims to develop recommendations that can serve the work of researchers and practitioners alike.

Download the Programme (3.6mb)

Conference Agenda

8:45am – 9:00am: Introduction – Marie-Eve Desrosiers, Université d’Ottawa

9:00am – 10:15am: How to act in an innovative way in response to the security challenges in Africa?

Do we have a better idea today of how to approach security challenges in an integrated way? What are some examples of especially innovative or effective security or capacity-building actions emerging from African contexts?

  • Chair: Marie-Joëlle Zahar, Université de Montréal
    • Niagalé Bagayoko, Africa Security Sector Network
    • Mpako Foaleng, Département des Operations de Paix, ONU
    • Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé, Université Bishop’s

Check out the recording of the panel!

10:15am – 10:45am: Coffee break

10:45am – 12:00pm: Building capacity in a multidimensional framework

Capacity building is a concept that has been mobilized to address various security challenges. But what are the current issues associated with this concept? What are the most frequently addressed capacities? Whose capacities, and built by whom? How can capacities be conceived broadly and inclusively enough to take into account the multidimensionality of security challenges in the complex African contexts?

  • Chair: Niagalé Bagayoko, Africa Security Sector Network
    • Arthur Boutellis, International Peace Institute
    • Bruno Charbonneau, Collège militaire royal—Saint-Jean
    • Pierre Leroux, MFO Chief Liaison, Canadian Contingent Commander

Check out the recording of the panel!

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm – 2:15pm: From the international to the local: the crossroads between levels of analysis and action.

How do actions at one level impact other levels? The importance of including all beneficiaries of a security action in its design is recognized, but how can this be done in practice in a credible and sustainable way?

  • Chair: Philippe Frowd, Université d’Ottawa
    • Arsène Brice Bado, Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la Paix
    • Adib Bencherif, Université de Sherbrooke
    • Maria Martin de Almagro, Université de Gand

Check out the recording of the panel!

2:15pm – 3:30pm: Traditional issues, non-traditional tools

How can non-traditional tools be used to address traditional security issues, such as armed violence (terrorism, wars)? How to define innovation in security support action in a way that bridges the gap between researchers and practitioners? What are the challenges and risks of initiatives that seek to bridge traditional and non-traditional approaches to security?

  • Chair: Bruno Charbonneau, Collège militaire royal—Saint-Jean
    • Philippe Frowd, Université d’Ottawa
    • Gaëlle Rivard Piché, Université Carleton
    • Virginie Tardif-Plante, Affaires Mondiales Canada
    • Marie-Joëlle Zahar, Université de Montréal

Check out the recording of the panel!

3:30pm – 4:00pm: Coffee break

4:00pm – 5:00pm: Round table discussions: Look back at the central issues

What have we learned about multidimensional security interventions in Africa? What avenues for action have been identified? What new avenues for research?

5:00pm – 6:30pm: Keynote event, Cyril Obi, Social Science Research Council.

Re-democratizing Africa Again? Engaging emerging challenges to peace and security in a time of crises

Check out the recording of the Keynote event!


Friday, March 11, 2022


08:45 - 18:30
Free Registration

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces / Le Ministère de la Défense nationale et les Forces armées canadiennes