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8 Impact

This chapter presents the evaluation’s assessment of the impact of the APP, focusing on the affect of APP on the key driving factors and actors in the African security and governance environment. The chapter will present this assessment along the lines of the geographical focus areas of the APP: the African continent (focusing on the AU), West Africa (focusing on ECOWAS, KAIPTC and WANEP) and East Africa (focusing on IGAD).

8.1 Impact of APP support to AU

The APP’s programme logic has largely played out in relation to the AU: the AU has demonstrated impact with the development of both the APSA and AGA on peace and security issues across the region. This can be partially attributed to Danish assistance.

The establishment of the AU’s CEWS facilitated conflict prevention efforts and thus had a demonstrable impact on the AU’s conflict management capacity. AU officials point to an example in the Central African Republic where CEWS helped alert the relevant stakeholders. Upon request Denmark allocated USD 200,000 to the AU, which allowed it to respond to the immediate violence and constructively engage with 14 armed groups in Bangui. Denmark funded regular horizon scanning, monthly meetings and bi-annual meetings with the PSC, and ad hoc specific allocations that contributed to the establishment of CEWS. Separately, the establishment of the AU Liaison Offices, supported by Denmark, has allowed various intelligence stakeholders to come together to discuss threats.

Since Phase II, the APP has supported AU’s effort on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) and has gradually gained prominence. For example, during the 2016 post-election crisis in The Gambia, the AGA provided a platform for the relevant organs of the AU and the RECs to convene in Abuja. This type of coordination provided a better framework for the PCRD to remain engaged in the aftermath of the situation.

The APP support for the establishment of the AU Liaison Offices (AULOs) is symbolic of the APP’s aim to create meaningful and sustainable impact across the African continent. AU officials highlight the AULOs ability to do quick impact projects on AU missions, including those missions supported by Denmark – e.g. the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In addition, the Offices have extensively contributed to closing the information and confidence gap between the RECs and the AU.

Prior to 2013, the AU’s activities under the Africa Charter, e.g. Chapter 18 on supporting members states with technical assistance surrounding elections, limited itself to two-month election observation missions. Yet with a strengthened role for the AGA, an AU electoral process system has been developed. When fully implemented, the process will include a pre-election assessment done by the AU, an independent electoral mission six months prior to the election, short-term observer missions during the election depending on the stability of the electoral process, and a post-electoral process analysing the lessons learned after the elections are implemented. In 2017, the AU’s Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit implemented this process for 11 elections, and in 2018 the Unit is preparing to undertake 19 missions.

One year before the last national election in Sierra Leone, the government in Freetown had refused to take meetings with representatives of the AU, UN or ECOWAS. It took another six months for a meeting to materialize, at which time the sitting president confessed to have no funding for the elections. In response, the AU asked donors to cover the costs, thus ensuring that the elections went ahead. According to AU officials, such coordination would not have happened before, underlining how far the Electoral Unit had come and equally, how well the AU, UN, RECs and international donors had worked together to ensure the essence of democracy and stability.

These examples show that as the largest beneficiary of funding throughout the APP’s lifetime, the AU has evolved as convenor for political exchange. The greater role of the AGA is a testament to this, allowing the AU to engage member states across a wider array of topics with greater legitimacy. In 2018, the AU is convening a summit with the RECs, pointing to the coordinating ambitions of the AU and the RECs.

8.2 Impact of APP support to ECOWAS, KAIPTC and WANEP

The programme logic of the APP has largely played out for the programme components in West Africa. ECOWAS, KAIPTC and WANEP have all demonstrated impact in relation to peace and security issues in the region, and their role in the implementation of the APSA and the AGA. These are partly attributable to Danish assistance. However, the APP partner may not have adequately adapted their response systems to the new conflict trends in West Africa.

The ECOWAS impact is most clear in relation to the ECPF. ECOWAS is in particular recognised as a norm-setting organisation in the region – particularly when it comes to political governance issues – and has mostly impacted the fields of mediation, early warning, and electoral support. Regarding the appearance of current threats in the region (such as terrorism, migration and farmer-herder conflicts), ECOWAS has so far not proven itself to be capable. On one hand, this can be explained by the fact that although some issues are transboundary and can be considered as regional threats, no political agreement has been reached on a (regional) division of labour to approach these issues. On the other hand, ECOWAS does not have the capacity to directly act upon the emergence of a violent situation. The ESF is not really a Standby Force, since ECOWAS does not have enough capacity to ensure that there is a military unit available at all times.

There is clearly a need for a more cross-border approach in light of the current peace and security issues in West Africa. The question is at what level such an approach is most relevant, particularly considering individual member states developing ad hoc coalitions depending on the issue at hand (e.g. G5 Sahel and MJTF in northeast Nigeria). ECOWAS needs to re-think its role in such processes, as it is limited in terms of quick responses due to a lack of (standing) capacity. ECOWAS likes to refer to their successes in conflict management, but the key examples provided are from the 1990s (Liberia, Sierra Leone), begging the question of if ECOWAS can still play a role at that scale. The Gambia example was a case where ‘the stars aligned’ in that the Gambia is a small political player in the region, and the big players all agreed on the same course of action (with Nigeria playing a lead role). ECOWAS provided a diplomatic cover and supported (very relevant) diplomatic interventions. The relevance of ECOWAS in the present is seen mostly as a norm-setting entity, and in the fields of early warning, mediation, and electoral assistance. All these are elements of the prevention agenda – with a focus on politics and diplomacy. This puts into question whether Denmark would be willing to support more politically focused support on issues like terrorism and migration, and would be willing to engage in a discussion on these issues with its partners under the APP.

With ECOWAS moving from the development of guidance and frameworks towards the actual implementation of these at the level of individual member states, its impact will be hindered by the fact that ECOWAS does not have the mandate (or capacity) to ‘intervene’ in individual member states beyond the central state level – and even its central intervention capabilities are limited. To effectively implement ECOWARN in member states, civil society organisations have to be involved, which goes beyond the ECOWAS mandate and capacity. Organisations like WANEP could provide assistance in this regard.

To assess the impact of WANEP and KAIPTC as Components of the APP, one should also consider the impact of the ECOWAS Component – given that the APP relevance of both WANEP and KAIPTC is linked to their roles in supporting ECOWAS in its role as a regional peace and security actor. WANEP is an important player vis-à-vis ECOWAS. WANEP is key regarding electoral support (training and monitoring), as a Track II mediator, and its contribution to the ECOWAS Early Warning mechanism is fundamental (with interviewees stating that without WANEP, ECOWARN would collapse). WANEP has also actively assisted in the development and design of the ECPF. WANEP impact is supported by the key implementing role that has been assigned to them (through an MoU with ECOWAS) in two of the most successful elements of ECOWAS’ peace and security work (early warning and electoral assistance). WANEP has also set up programmes in response to the new regional security threats and has included these in its Strategic Plan (ensuring the use of core funding to this end).

Along the same lines, one could argue that KAIPTC has also had a substantial impact when it comes to its role as a Training Centre of Excellence in relation to the ESF and supported by an MOU. However, according to KAIPTC itself as well as interviewees, it is more difficult to measure direct impact when it comes to the KAIPTC trainings due to the fact that the Centre does not control if, where or how military staff that have participated in the courses are actually deployed. One issue in this regard is also that the Centre increasingly focuses on training CSO staff (driven by financial considerations), rather than putting the training of military staff front and centre. A core element in the current discussions in relation to the new KAIPTC Strategic Plan is therefore to put ECOWAS and the AU in the driver’s seat in terms of developing courses and identifying course participants – demanding that participants will be deployed in the near future. Donors (including Denmark) could play a stronger role in demanding this connection between the courses and the APSA deployment. Another element that needs to be tackled in the discussions on the new KAIPTC Strategic Plan is the role of KAIPTC in light of both the trend in the region to respond to outbreaks of violent conflict with smaller ad hoc coalitions (e.g. the G5 Sahel and the MJTF) and the new regional security threats.

8.3 Impact of APP support to IGAD

Through its continued funding to IGAD, APP has contributed to developing an incipient regional conflict resolution capacity in a very volatile neighbourhood. However, given the lack of documented results at the outcome level, the evaluation cannot establish a causal link between Danish funding and IGAD’s eventual impact.

On impact, despite periods of volatile relationships between member states who are often involved in proxy warfare with one another, IGAD’s position as a platform for negotiation and mediation has been central to the establishment of the Somali Transitional Federal Government and in brokering the CPA in 2005 and the ACRSS in 2015. Especially in situations where there are multiple ongoing peace processes, many of which exclude one faction or another, IGAD can bring these processes together in a more inclusive overarching process.

Additionally, IGAD has demonstrated its ability to mobilize outside financial and political support, and on some occasions use this to pressure member states where necessary to reach a consensus. When negotiations stall, and when the interests in the regional political marketplace form a deadlock, IGAD can form an entry point for outside support to revive negotiations. This was the case with the IGAD Partners Forum where the Troika provided IGAD with the financial and political leverage to push the Government of Sudan and the SPLA towards an agreement. However, this can also backfire, as not all member states will appreciate what may be perceived as a breach of the ‘African solutions for African problems’ principle.

Separately, and seemingly converse to the second strength identified above, IGAD also has the ability to protect from foreign influences that are less conducive to reaching a regional consensus on the resolution of a conflict. As demonstrated in the Somali case study, IGAD managed to mitigate the influences of Egypt and other Arab states, thereby securing the legitimacy and buy-in of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, all of whom viewed the Arab influence with suspicion. IGAD’s role in the regional response has arguably therefore helped keep foreign influences at bay, principally those of Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

[187]On the secondary APP objective, the evaluation noted that Danish officials were very pleased with their ability to access IGAD officials, as noted in Chapter 4 on the AU. This reinforces the APP I review, which stated that Denmark’s support to IGAD has had substantial implications through political leveraging. Same officials, however, had given little strategic thought to the overall purpose of access: influencing officials to pursue particular objectives or policies. For Copenhagen, it remains important to access officials in an ad hoc manner to gain intelligence on security-related issues on the Horn. While the evaluation could not independently assess this aspect due to its confidential nature, it is likely that this objective was indeed achieved given the satisfaction noted by Danish officials.

The evaluation notes a limited awareness of how well-placed Denmark is to simultaneously enhance impact on both its objectives; both goals could be achieved with an improved strategic approach. IGAD is in need of stronger political coherence while Denmark is one of the lead donors and claims to have unhindered access to top officials. As such, Danish officials could initiate a strategic, coordinated dialogue with IGAD officials and member states to help the institution deliver more effectively on its objectives.


[187] Healy, 2011.

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This page forms part of the publication "Evaluation of the Africa Programme for Peace 2004-2017 – November 2018" as chapter 8 of 12.
Version no. 1.0, 2018-12-13
Publication may be found at the address http://www.netpublikationer.dk/um/evaluation_africa_programme_for_peace_2004-2017/index.html