African Police Programme

Project description

Title: Programme to Build and Strengthen the Police Structures in Selected Partner Countries in Africa
Commissined by:  Federal Foreign Office
Country: African Union (AU), AU Organisation for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL), Community of Sahel States (G5 Sahel), Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal
Lead executing Agency: National ministries of internal security; national police structures; regional / continental organizations
Overall term: 2019 to 2023

Police Programme Africa. Taking a statement at a police station. © GIZ


The majority of police authorities in the partner countries have only limited capacity for providing citizens with comprehensive protection against security threats. As a result, crime is high and public confidence in the police is low. The police often lack proximity to the citizens and there is insufficient respect for human rights and the rule of law. In addition, a lack of transparency frequently leads to corruption and abuse of power. As a result, the instability of the majority of fragile states is intensifying.

The police authorities have inadequate equipment, police officers do not receive sufficient training to carry out their tasks and standardised organisational and working processes are in place only to a limited extent. There is a need for better cooperation between the police and the judiciary, for police presence in rural areas and for close regional cooperation between police authorities.


The institutional and human resources capacity of national and regional police authorities and institutions has been strengthened based on the principles of rule of law and cooperation has been consolidated. As a result, transnational organised crime and terrorism in African countries affected by current or recent conflict, or which are fragile, are contained more effectively.

In addition, political processes have been established that promote peace and stability, prevent crises, help manage conflicts and security threats, and contribute to people’s security.

Police Programme Africa. Discussion between a police officer and woman in front of a police station. © GIZ


All measures are selected according to respective needs in close consultation with the partners. In addition, they are based on existing national, regional or international strategies and are implemented in accordance with them. Strengthening human rights in police work is a particular focus.

Great importance is attached to implementing gender strategies and gender equality in all the programme’s measures. The programme supports the partners in the areas of infrastructure and equipment, training and further training as well as organisational consulting.

In order to build stability, the programme strengthens the legitimacy of the police force, for example by helping increase transparency, professionalism and proximity to citizens. In this context, procedures for internal control, accountability and managing complaints are being established in order to enable action based on rule of law. The involvement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), initiatives and associations is designed to improve the population's trust in the security authorities.

In addition, the programme specifically promotes provision of services and cooperation between forensic science and criminal justice, for example through further training and by promoting dialogue forums. The programme also supports the exchange of experience and expertise between countries, in addition to networking in the region.

Above all, regional security institutions are strengthened so that they can take effective action against cross-border organised crime and terrorism. Improved working processes help institutions such as the African Union (AU) to perform their tasks more efficiently.

Since 2009, GIZ has been promoting police reform processes in Africa on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office. The programme is currently implementing eleven country and regional measures in various African countries. All processes are developed in close consultation with the partner institutions and meet the respective needs.