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African security in the twenty-first centuryChallenges and opportunities$
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Stephen Emerson and Hussein Solomon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526122735

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526122735.001.0001

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The African response

The African response

(p.194) 9 The African response
African security in the twenty-first century

Stephen Emerson

Hussein Solomon

Manchester University Press

Paradoxically, as much as Africa’s current problems are often rooted in the past, the continent today finds itself squarely at the forefront of new security thinking. Although the international community historically has played a critical role in shaping the African security agenda, true security—and solutions—begins at home. The often misappropriated mantra of ‘African solutions for African problems’ has taken on real and significant meaning in recent years with the development and implementation of new national, sub-regional, and regional approaches to advancing peace and security. This chapter examines these approaches, past shortcomings of the modern African state and its limitations, and looks at ways the African Union, regional NGOs, and civil society are seeking to fashion a cooperative security culture for 21st century needs. Without doubt many obstacles and challenges still remain, but these efforts are already proving useful in recasting the continent’s security priorities and, moreover, in establishing a direction for future engagement by Africans and non-Africans alike.

Keywords:   African Union, Organization of African Unity (OAU), sub-regional communities (RECs), AU Peace and Security Council, African Standby Force (ASF), peacekeeping, NGOs and civil society, bottom up approach

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