HSG 2016 Hargeisa Workshop Report


From June 6-8, 2016, members of the “Hybrid Security Governance in Africa Programme” research team met in Hargeisa (Somaliland) for the Project’s Midterm Review Workshop organised by the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) and the Academy for Peace and Development (APD), a Hargeisa-based think tank and a project member responsible for conducting the Somaliland case study. The project is supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

In his introductory remarks, the Project Leader, Prof Eboe Hutchful explained the considerations that influenced the selection of Somaliland as the venue for the workshop and noted that Somaliland, as a young, fiercely patriotic nation not yet formally recognized as a state was symbolic of the relative novelty of the subject and exploratory study of hybrid security governance in Africa.  He added that it was also an opportunity to experience, engage and observe the context and realities of hybridity and statebuilding in what is admittedly a bedrock case study for this project.

The preliminary session of the workshop offered a platform for researchers to share their experiences and challenges from the field and also receive feedback from supervisors and members of the Advisory Group.

Subsequently, the substantive agenda for the workshop unfolded with presentations on the research findings per country: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Somaliland and South Africa.  The discussions ensuing from these presentations hinged on research approaches, research findings and analysis, areas of convergence and divergence among the project countries, and the policy implications of individual papers as well as the collective body of work emerging from the project. Reviewers also made recommendations on how to deepen and enrich the research papers as researchers embark on their final field research.

H E Dr Saad Ali Shire (second from left) with members of the research team

H E Dr Saad Ali Shire (second from left) with members of the research team

The closing session of the workshop was graced by the presence of the Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H E Dr Saad Ali Shire. In his address, Dr Shire remarked that hybridity is important to Somaliland where although various aspects of tradition and modernity coexist, there is no dichotomy but a continuum between both systems. He emphasized that Somalilanders understand the importance of modern governance but hold in high value indigenous knowledge and traditions which they have tried to merge in their nation’s governance and security institutions, guided by the principles of community and rationalism as against individualism and conservatism.

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