Police programme Africa – Niger

Project description

Title: Police programme Africa – supporting police reform processes in Niger
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Niger
Lead executing agency: Direction Générale de la Police Nationale du Niger (DGPN)
Overall term: 2013 to 2018

Context

Some regions of Niger have not yet stabilised following internal conflicts, while tense political situations in the neighbouring countries of Libya, Mali and Nigeria have further exacerbated the security situation. A particular threat is posed by the terrorist groups operating in Nigeria and Mali.

The country also has the difficult task of securing its 5,700 kilometre-long international border. Niger has become a transit country for arms and drug smuggling, so border security plays an important role in ensuring internal security and stability.

The Niger police force is not adequately prepared for these challenges and cannot guarantee the security of the population across the country. There is a shortage of personnel and equipment, making it much more difficult to carry out professional police work. The existing training system is not preparing recruits to respond to the current threats to security. Given the rise in terrorist activity in the region in particular, there needs to be greater cooperation with the police in neighbouring countries, such as Nigeria and Burkina Faso, and the population living near the border.

Objective

The Niger police force is better prepared for its role, and its capacities in human resource management and training are strengthened. In addition, the police are able to react appropriately to security risks along the national border and so better protect the population living near the border from criminal attacks.

Niger. Police officer at work. © GIZ

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 police academy in Niger will receive support from the programme in developing a training strategy and restructuring the training system. By introducing other modules and more practical training, the programme aims to properly prepare police officers to carry out their role and deal with the changed security situation. In future, training will focus more on implementing international standards in police work. A new lecture theatre has been built, increasing the intake capacity of the academy.

The team in Niger is currently developing a system to improve HR management by optimally linking each individual staff profile to a corresponding position. In this way, it will be easy to determine who is needed where. Police officers are encouraged to adopt well-structured career plans, which is intended to improve prospects of promotion and enhance officer loyalty and motivation.

Further checkpoints on the border with Nigeria and Burkina Faso are set to be built. Training courses for border police will help develop border control procedures in Niger that meet international standards. They will also promote respect for human rights and help ensure that organised crime and terrorism are recognised earlier and prevented. Regular exchange with the population in border areas and with the police forces of neighbouring countries is expected to lead to improvements in the respect for human rights at the border and in the response to security risks.

Results

In cooperation with its partners, the team in Niger revised the police training module on border security to take current challenges into account. A central human resource management database has been set up, which now includes data for the entire police force. New border checkpoints have been established and training provided for border police, with the result that there is now an increased police presence and officers can be deployed more effectively in remote areas.

Niger. Police station. © GIZ