The United States is committed to working with our African partners to address peace and security challenges on the continent and across the globe. While expanding our cooperation with governments in Africa to combat the growing terrorist threat across the continent and protect African communities, we are engaging in holistic efforts to help governments and communities in Africa combat violent extremism.
Partnering on African Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism Efforts
We are strongly committed to partnering with African countries to increase their capacity to address the immediate threats posed by terrorist organizations and to prevent terrorists from using the region to recruit, seek sanctuary, or secure resources and financing. Through the new fiscal year 2015-2016 Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF), the United States intends to work with Congress to provide approximately $465 million in new training, equipment, capacity building, and enabling assistance to partners in Africa. This funding will support counterterrorism, security and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiatives throughout Africa.
Also in fiscal year 2015, we intend to provide at least $40 million in assistance related to countering violent extremism in East Africa. This funding will be aligned with the White House CVE Action Agenda and build on the positive and ongoing CVE work in the region.
- We will seek to continue work in a wide range of areas, engaging in programming that promotes dialogue, trust, and enhanced partnerships between security forces, law enforcement actors, other civilian government officials, community leaders and civil society; strengthening the capacity and networks of civil society to be more inclusive, in particular of youth, religious leaders, women, victims of terrorism, and disengaged fighters, and enhance the efficacy of communities and community leaders to positively intervene and disrupt the cycle of radicalization to violence.
During the February 2015 White House CVE Summit, delegates from more than 65 countries, as well as civil society and the private sector, outlined an ambitious Action Agenda to operationalize a holistic approach to addressing the drivers of violent extremism and empower local communities and civil society. To continue this important work, Kenya hosted a regional follow-on CVE summit in June. We continue to demonstrate our commitment to countering terrorism and violent extremism through ongoing programs. For example:
- The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) and the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism (PREACT) seek to build partner counterterrorism capacities across multiple sectors, including the military, law enforcement, and other civilian institutions.
- In Nigeria, Niger, and Chad the United States is expanding support for programs to build resilience and civilian security in communities targeted by Boko Haram. These efforts specifically work to strengthen community connectivity and civil society engagement through activities such as peace dialogues, sports programs, and youth education.
The United States currently partners with African communities to provide vocational, technical and life skills, and job search training with an underlying focus on empowering youth, to address the drivers of violent extremism. For example:
- In Somalia, through USAID’s Transition Initiative for Stabilization (TIS) and Strategic Response Activity (SRA) we support activities that promote dialogue, trust, and enhanced partnerships between civilian government officials, community leaders and civil society, on the basis of respect for human rights and accountability.
- In northern Mali, the United States is supporting local efforts to mitigate conflict, promote reconciliation, and address the drivers of violent extremism.
- In Kenya we work to empower youth at risk of radicalization through programs like “Yes Youth Can!,” in which youth are enabled to take a leadership role in initiatives that create opportunities for themselves and their communities.
Building African Peacekeeping Capacity and Saving Lives Through Rapid Response
In order to increase the capacity of UN peacekeeping in Africa and beyond,President Obama will be hosting a summit on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly where participating countries will make significant, new, and concrete commitments to fill gaps in existing peacekeeping missions and plan for future ones.
During the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the President announced a major new initiative, the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership (APRRP), to build the capacity of African militaries to rapidly deploy peacekeepers in response to emerging conflict, a concept that holds powerful life-saving potential. APRRP will initially build the capacity of six African partners: Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.
- The United States has already concluded initial high-level consultation visits with all APRRP partners, deployed technical assessment teams to the partner countries, and announced an initial package of assistance to Ethiopia to assist in the development of its airlift capabilities.
- APRRP complements programs such as the Global Peace Operations Initiative, the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program, and the International Police Peacekeeping Operations Support program. Through these programs, the United States has supported the training of over 250,000 African peacekeepers since 2005.
The United States Government is also taking important steps towards implementing other commitments announced during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit:
- The Early Warning and Response Partnership (EWARP) supports information sharing, conflict prevention and crisis management among West African states. Through EWARP, the United States is working to develop the full-spectrum of early warning capacity for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its member states so they can proactively identify emerging crises and improve their response mechanisms once a crisis begins.
- The Security Governance Initiative (SGI) represents a comprehensive approach to improving security sector governance and was launched last year with six partner countries: Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Tunisia. The SGI approach is based on partnership and joint analysis of the opportunities and challenges governments face and entails whole-of-government strategies to achieve catalytic and systemic reform in specific areas of focus related to the functioning of civilian and military institutions. The United States and Government of Kenya have signed the first Joint Country Action Plan under SGI, which will support enhanced border management, fair and equitable administration of justice, and improved human resources in Kenya’s police service.