Exploring the Challenges and Possibilities of Pan African International Police Cooperation

Exploring the Challenges and Possibilities of Pan African International Police Cooperation

Gerald D. Gyamfi (University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPADA.2019100104


In the promotion of global peace and security, police cooperation is considered one of the major pillars. This exploratory qualitative study focuses on the possibilities and challenges that should be overcome in the quest to practicalize the implementation of security policies and other legal instruments relating to police cooperation and collaboration in Africa. Twenty-five top police officers and other security experts in Ghana were selected as participants using snowball approach. The participants were interviewed for their views on international police cooperation focusing on cooperation among the various police forces in Africa. The outcome of the study revealed that the major challenges include financial constraints, language barriers, political interference, and problems associated with information technology systems. Recommendations made to overcome most of the challenges include strengthening the African Union Police (AFRIPOL), intelligence sharing with the aid of advanced information technology, and promoting research on police effectiveness on the African continent.
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Literature Review

This study is guided by the problem-oriented policing (POP) conceptual framework which regards the work of the police as an extraordinary complex situation that requires pragmatic consideration because of its puzzling nature. The POP, developed by Goldstein (1990), is a useful guide for this study because the study is exploring into the complex nature of crime on the continent of Africa that requires police cooperation to combat. Consultative meetings of governments on the African continent to seek peace and security on the continent, since the formation of OAU, have led to the formation of regional associations with a major aim of coming out with a common security force to counteract the activities of criminals on the continent (Rechner, 2006). The regional unions include the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC), and the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU). The OAU that metamorphosed to the creation of African Union (AU) in 2002 has contributed to the deployment of regional forces to embark on stabilization missions to countries in the regions ravaged by civil wars and other crimes. For example, in the 1990s, ECOWAS deployed a monitoring group (ECOMOG) that helped to curb the decade of the Liberian Civil War (Lizak, 2016).

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