The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has worked on the Police Programme Africa since 2009 on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office. The project is designed, over the medium to long term, to help police forces in participating African states perform their functions in a professional manner, responding to public needs whilst respecting human rights standards and the rule of law.
With this aim in mind, the first project phase focused primarily on capacity-building in police institutions. The renovation of a police training centre in Mauritania, for example, meant that 150 customs officers were able to start their training in a fitting environment in April 2015. To give another example, police officers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were given advice and further training on investigating sexual offences and on upholding human rights in the course of their work.
Another project priority is providing further training for policemen and women assigned to African and international peace missions. In this way. support is also being provided to build up the police component of the African Standby Force (ASF). Since 2013, the second project phase has focused on strengthening regional cooperation between national police forces so that these are better able to address transnational problems. For countries with long land borders, which are difficult to secure, it is crucial that the national security forces are able to communicate quickly and effectively with each other. An exchange has, for example, been initiated between neighbouring border posts in Niger and Nigeria. This has so far met with a very positive response, and the regular dialogue meetings with the local population are increasing public confidence in the police.