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ECOWAS Security Sector Reform and Governance Training Workshop in GAMBIA

ECOWAS Security Sector Reform and Governance Training Workshop:

Capacity Development of Stakeholders and Institutions in the Security Sector and Relevant Oversight Realms.

GAMBIA – (Banjul) 21st – 23rd Febraury 2022

From 21st – 23rd of Febraury 2022, the African Security Newtork (ASSN), facilitated a training workshop at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, in Banjul. Organized through the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations Project (EPSAO), co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ), the objective of this workshop was to promote a better understanding of Security Sector Reform and Governance among core security sector stakeholders. This workshop is a second in a series of three regional trainings to be implemented within the ECOWAS member states.

During his welcome speech to participants, Mr. Ebrima Sisawo Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Regional Integration, begun by welcoming stakeholders to this important training workshop in the sense that it is related to security and as such is a critical workshop that anyone could attend. He encouraged stakeholders to grab and build skills to acquire the right competencies to not only develop the strategies but also enable Gambians to implement successfully. Mr. Sisawo again encouraged participants to seize this opportunity with full hands in order to participate effectively in the successful implementation of the ECOWAS SSRG Policy Framework.

Mr. Ebrima Sisawo Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Regional Integration, delivering his address at the opening ceremony in Banjul.

The Chief of Staff from the Office of National Security Mr Abraham. K. Mendy highlighted that this event had been long overdue, but still relevant with the current security situation in ECOWAS that requires intervention in reforming west african security sector‘s in order to respond not only for state but also to the needs of the citizens, for it is the only way to realize the development potentials. Mr Mendy quoted a speech made by His Excellency (H.E) Mr. Adama Barrow citing Gambia’s inheritance of a security sector that has been malfuctioning, dysfunctional and not representative of the Gambian people, He therefore called for an intervention to join the Gambian people in reforming the security sector so that it can be managed by the oversight bodies and should respect the fundamental human rights and adhere to democratic principles. Therefore the gathering today was for Gambians to bring together ideas focusing on the direction intended for achievements.

Also speaking at the event, the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS Commission (SRPC), Her Excellency (H.E) Madam Vabah Gayflor reiterated the objectives of the ECOWAS SSRG Policy Framework are to promote common security standards in the region, compliment natiionally led initiatives and promote regional security coordination and cooperation so as to effectively tackle new and emerging security challenges. H.E Madam Vabor further under-pinned the unique value of the SSRG Policy Framework, which lies in its comprehensive approach to connected security in the region. This means that improving the efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and responsiveness of security service provision, management and oversight will have a domino effect of also enhancing national and regional efforts in conflict prevention, preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism, improving maritime security governnce, combating transnational organized crime as well as controlling small arms and light weapons proliteration.

Representing GIZ EPSAO Project , Ms. Subetta Chansa, indicated that over the past year, SSR has gathered momentum within the ECOWAS region as member states have sought to improve security in their countries. She encouraged all stakeholders to work collaboratively in domesticating and applying the principles of the Policy Framework as it represents the cornerstone of SSR in the region. She expressed hope that participants would dedicate their full presence to open and candid discussions over the three-day period.

Gambian Participants in plenary at the Training Workshop at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre

Concluding the opening ceremony, representing the African Security Sector Network, Professor Eboe Hutchful, acknowledged the importance of the gathering particularly in the Gambia where quite some work has been achieved, such as the adoption of a National Security Policy, alongside numeorus policy documents. Prof Hutchful also acknowledged the substantial SSR work ongoing in the country with the support of DCAF, and was extremely thankful to ECOWAS for this would be the first time ASSN was hosting an event in The Gambia. He also expressed confidece in the resource persons who would be sharing hands – on epxerince throughout the 3 day workshop.

The training workshop was attended by several key stakeholders from The Gambia, such as the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS Commission (SRPC) to The Gambia, the Head of the ECOWAS Regional Security Division, Policymakers, Practitioners, Officers of the Armed Forces and Security Services, Experts from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), representatives from ECOMIG and development partners such as representatives from DCAF - Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, The African Security Sector Network (ASSN), the Police Programme Africa Joint German-EU support to the Gambia Police Force, and the GIZ- EPSAO Project.

Participants during a working session on Maritime Security and Governance Management of Maritime Threats

For more information on this event, please contact:


Col Abdourahmane Dieng.

Head of the Regional Security Division; Directorate Peacekeeping & Regional Security ECOWAS Commission


Subetta Chansa,

Technical Advisor, ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture Operations Project (ESPAO)


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