Police Programme Africa

Programme description

Title: Supporting police reform processes in Africa
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Africa (supranational)
Lead executing agency: National ministries for internal security; national police structures; regional organisations
Overall term: 2009 to 2018

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

Context

In many of Africa’s fragile states and (post-)conflict countries, armed groups, transnational organised crime, electoral unrest and heightened crime rates pose a major challenge to national and regional police institutions. The police authorities are often poorly staffed, lack equipment and, in many cases, have not received sufficient training. Many African police institutions fail to provide adequate security for the population, so public confidence in law enforcement is low in most countries. Regional police partnerships are also limited in number, and there is insufficient coordination of joint operations, for instance in peace missions organised by the African Union (AU).

Objective

The institutional and personnel capacities of national and regional police institutions are strengthened in Africa’s (post-)conflict countries and fragile states. This boosts public confidence in police institutions among Africa’s rural, urban and border populations.

Approach

Since 2009, GIZ has been implementing a programme on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office to support police reform processes in Africa. In its current phase, the Police Programme Africa is working with selected national and regional police institutions, an immigration authority, the AU and regional organisations in order to improve internal management processes and basic training. The programme is also enhancing specialist and technical knowledge in specific areas such as forensics in order to tackle transnational organised crime and strengthen border security. In addition, it is helping to increase the regional coordination of police services.

The programme advises police institutions on professionalising their planning and organisational processes. It offers specialist and management training to boost the skills of staff and works with its partners to create new modules and curricula for police academies and the training and certification of trainers. Support is also provided for the construction and renovation of police and immigration service facilities such as police stations and border posts, police academies, forensics laboratories and offices for archives. In a number of cases, police buildings are being equipped with furniture, IT resources, vehicles, including motorcycles, and communications equipment.

All measures are tailored to the needs of individual countries and organisations. They are also aligned with and complement existing national, regional and international strategies. This creates synergies and ensures that measures are sustainable.

The current phase of the programme is building on the many positive results achieved between 2009 and 2015.

Results

The management capacities of police institutions have been strengthened through advisory services and training measures, and international standards have been established for police work. The effectiveness and operational capability of individual police units have been improved thanks to numerous training courses. This has served to boost motivation and increase loyalty among police forces.

The construction and reconstruction of police stations and border checkpoints, for example in Niger and Chad, and the establishment of communications networks and an emergency call centre in South Sudan have fostered cooperative relationships based on trust and a sense of partnership. These measures have also helped to increase police presence in remote regions and improve their operational capability.

In Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire and other countries, infrastructure support for police academies, advice on drafting training strategies and curricula, and specific training for teaching staff have helped improve the qualifications of new police officers and prepare them for their future role.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritania and Côte d’Ivoire, the programme carried out construction work and training measures and provided materials and equipment. This has strengthened the ability of the police to investigate crimes and gather evidence that can be used in court. Cooperation has also been stepped up between specialists in the criminal investigations department and the public prosecutor.

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

The programme provides ongoing organisational advice on peace missions to the AU. This has led to improvements in coordination and communication processes between the AU police components and the regional economic organisations and mechanisms, for example through support for establishing a continent-wide discussion and exchange platform.