SCN in Sub-Saharan Africa
There is increasing recognition among the international community that local officials and practitioners can play a crucial role in addressing conditions that create an enabling environment for violent extremism to thrive. A growing number of cities are developing strategies and initiatives that address radicalisation and violent extremism, for example, in Dakar, Senegal; Mombasa, Kenya; or in Bamako, Mali.
The continent of Africa continues to face a number of security challenges, including in Libya, Mali, Nigeria, the Lake Chad Basin, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Primarily through the actions of Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and affiliates, violent extremism poses a threat to security in the region and impedes development and socioeconomic prospects for many countries in the region. Violent extremist groups have transformed traditional and cultural practices and fostered ideas and actions that foment social tensions and intolerance, strain relationships between communities and the state, and constrain the space for dialogue and development. According to the Global Terrorism Index (2016), a number of countries from Africa suffer the highest impact of terrorism, including Nigeria, Somalia, Cameroon, Niger, Kenya, and Mali. Meanwhile, hard security responses to terrorism and violent extremism continue to dominate across the continent, which can be counterproductive and add to existing grievances against the state when counterterrorism operations disregard rule of law and human rights.
To read a full assessment of the region, please refer to the SCN Regional Assessment Report about violent extremism in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Right now we are developing [the SCN Local Action Planning model] for 14 villages in Cameroon.” Our partner organisation ARK Jammers Connection Inc.
Regional practitioners workshop in Dakar, Senegal
The first Strong Cities Network (SCN) Regional Practitioners’ Workshop took place on 9 and 10 March 2017. The workshop was hosted by the city of Dakar in collaboration and led by the Global Center on Cooperative Security (Global Center) and ISD. The workshop brought together city officials and practitioners to share best practice and experience and engage with in-depth training on local action planning for CVE. Participants represented 15 cities from ten countries across West Africa, the Sahel, and the Greater Horn of Africa: Kousseri and Waza Reserve (Cameroon); Tadjourah (Djibouti); Kwale, Lamu, Mombasa (Kenya); Bamako (Mali); Kiffa (Mauritania); Diffa, Naimey (Niger); Kano State, Lagos (Nigeria); Zanzibar (Tanzania); and Kampala (Uganda). The workshop was also joined by representatives from the City of Kristiansand, Norway, and the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRLV), based in the City of Montréal, Canada. Click here to read the full report of the workshop.
As a member, you can also access all the PowerPoints used during the presentations and break out sessions here.
City exchange: Dakar – Montreal
ISD held the first SCN bilateral exchange on 16-18 October 2017, building cooperation and shared learning to counter violent extremism between the cities of Dakar, Senegal and Montreal, Canada. Hosted in Montreal by Esteban Benavides, the city’s International Relations Adviser, this exchange was the first of its kind and aims to promote and share on a city-to-city basis vital practical tools and initiatives to reduce local risk, prevent violence and build cohesive communities. Top officials from Dakar travelled to Montreal to attend these sessions, including Maye Seck, Urban Security Adviser to the Mayor, and Papa Alassane Seck, Supervisor of Dakar’s innovative Volunteer Programme. Click here to read the report on the SCN city exchange between Dakar and Montréal.
City exchange: Mombasa – Kristiansand
The SCN second bilateral exchange took place on 19-23 March 2018 between the cities of Mombasa, Kenya and Kristiansand, Norway. This exchange focused on the key themes of prevention and resilience building among local youth, implementation of local P/CVE action plans, and multi-agency cooperation. The visit included a series of training workshops and round table discussions, including with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Kristiansand, the local crime prevention teams in the municipality and police department, the Norwegian Institute for the Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (Plattform), the United Nations Association of Norway, and a range of local CSOs and community leaders. A high-level delegation travelled to Kristiansand to attend these sessions, including Munywoki Kyalo, County Executive Committee member in charge of Youth, Gender, Sports, and Cultural; and Munira Hamisi, Director for P/CVE in the Office of the Governor of Mombasa County.
City exchange: Kristiansand – Mombasa
Building on the previous SCN city exchange held in March 2018, a high-level delegation from Kristiansand, Norway, travelled to Mombasa, Kenya, from 19-23 November 2018 to engage in an exchange of best practice on youth engagement and preventing violent extremism in the context of crime prevention. The Kristiansand delegation, led by the Deputy Mayor of Kristiansand, shared their approach to youth engagement and P/CVE with their Mombasa counterparts during a workshop for local government stakeholders as part of the Mombasa Young Cities Innovation Lab.
The exchange culminated in the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between Deputy Mayor Kristiansen of Kristiansand and Governor Joho of Mombasa, which outlines a comprehensive bilateral cooperation programme between the two cities in the realm of PVE, involving practitioner exchanges and trainings, but also youth exchanges, civil society mobilisation, and crime and violence prevention programming. This is a significant milestone for the two cities, coming out of the efforts of both leaders to foster collaboration and learning under the auspices of the SCN over the last three years.
Resources for the region
Local innovation grant for Sub-Saharan Africa
In Spring 2017, the SCN awarded the Local Innovation Grant for Sub-Saharan Africa to HAKI Africa. HAKI Africa is a national human rights organisation based in Mombasa (Kenya) working to improve livelihoods and enhance the progressive realisation of human rights in Kenya. Initiated in 2012, the organisation promotes partnership between state and non state actors in order to constantly improve the well being of individuals and communities and ensure respect for human rights and rule of law by all.
HAKI Africa used the Local Innovation Grant to strengthen collaboration and cooperation between the Mombasa County government, the national government and civil society organisations on the design of a joint implementation of the Mombasa County Strong Cities – CVE Action Plan.
Our local partners
The SCN works together with several partners