People standing around a large market with lots of people.

From barriers to bridges – Promoting stabilisation and peace at borders in Africa

Border Governance in Africa: Support to the African Union Border Programme (AUBP)

+ Show all
  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Foreign Office

  • Country

    African Union (AU), selected AU Member States, and Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2023 to 2026

  • Products and expertise

    Security, Reconstruction and Peace

A group of women holding signs.


Most of Africa's borders were drawn in colonial times and maintained after the independence of African states. Many of them are legally not clearly defined and not adequately demarcated with border pillars resulting in territorial grey areas that give rise to lawless spaces and conflicts over natural resources.

The African Union (AU) is aware of the issue and sees insufficiently defined borders as a threat to peace, security and state legitimacy and an obstacle to regional integration. The AU Border Programme aims to promote clearly defined, internationally recognised and locally accepted state borders and viable cross-border cooperation. These measures may prevent conflict and increase security, stability and development in border regions.


Better defined borders contribute to peacebuilding and stability in border regions in Africa.

Close-up of hands on a concrete cylinder.


The project fosters the AU Border Programme in four areas. The delimitation and demarcation of borders is the focus of the project.

Better definition of borders: The project supports AU Member States to better delimitate and demarcate their borders through technical support and necessary trainings.

Improved policies and institutions: The project improves the capacities of AU and regional organisations to develop standards and approaches, coordinate the processes and to further disseminate the knowledge gained. Thereby, it contributes to the AU Border Governance Strategy, which sets the framework for border governance on the African continent.

Dialogue and cooperation at borders: the project works with border communities and civil society as well as state actors to build trust and reduce conflict through cross-border dialogue mechanisms and cooperation.

Knowledge transfer: The project promotes cooperation between border actors to further develop the expertise for coherent border governance approaches on the African continent.

Last update: March 2024

Additional information