Police programme Africa – Cameroon

Project description

Project title: Police programme Africa – strengthening national police structures in Cameroon
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Cameroon
Lead executing agency: Délégation Générale à la Sûreté Nationale (DGSN)
Overall term: 2016 to 2018

Cameroon. Practising taking fingerprints. © GIZ

Context

Unlike its neighbours, Cameroon has enjoyed a long period of stability and peace. However, this contrasts with the deteriorating security situation and growing potential for conflict in Cameroon’s neighbouring countries. The north of the country is affected by attacks from the Nigerian terror organisation Boko Haram. And Eastern Cameroon is suffering the effects of instability in the Central African Republic, which has resulted in sporadic border incursions by rebel groups. Cameroon is also affected by illegal cross-border trade in valuable goods such as animals, timber, minerals and arms, and by human trafficking.

Despite having a wealth of natural resources, the country’s economic and social development is stagnating. Cameroon’s police force is facing new security policy challenges. It requires additional institutional and HR capacities to respond appropriately to the current insecurity. The criminal investigations department and the border police face a substantial challenge in ensuring national security, combating illegal cross-border trade and cross-border crime, and carrying out checks on migrants in line with human rights requirements.

Objective

The performance of Cameroon’s police force is improved in the areas of border security, criminal investigation, forensics and human resources.

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.

In Cameroon, at least two border checkpoints are to be built by 2018 to improve the ability of the border police force to operate along Cameroon’s frontiers. Courses are being run to prepare and train police officers for their specific border management role.

The programme is supporting the criminal investigations department, particularly in the area of forensics, by providing training and equipment. This will enable teams to provide objective proof for trials, thus increasing legal certainty in the country.

Staff in Cameroon’s police force are receiving training to enable them to use its digital personnel database. This will help to increase transparency and efficiency in managing human resources and planning assignments.

Cameroon. Group photo of participants in a training course. © GIZ