n African Security Review - Civilianising military functions in sub-saharan Africa : essay

Volume 12, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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The privatization of activities previously performed by government has been a major characteristic of economic policies over the past two decades. This article examines the potential for privatization of military activities in the African context. Four categories in which this has or might occur are mercenaries employed by a government to provide for defence or to supplement its own military; private security company personnel employed to protect economic assets or to advise and train the local military; the contracting out of the provision of goods and services ranging from heavy weapons through to accounting services; and the transfer of non-core activities currently undertaken by the military to other government departments or civilian bodies. Of these, the last is of potential importance in Africa, given the wide range of activities which its militaries have come to perform. Three examples where private sector organisations or other government departments could play a much larger and probably more cost-effective role are peacekeeping, internal security and surveillance, resource protection and rescue activities.

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