Regulation of the Private Security Sector in Africa

In Africa as elsewhere, the past decade has seen rapid growth in the private security industry. In a growing trend, key defense and security functions - such as the protection of the president and areas rich in valuable resources - are being outsourced to private companies. The recent unsuccessful coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea by foreign mercenaries with close connections to opposition politicians and the oil sector suggests the potential for security operatives to "go rogue" in the absence of an effective regulatory framework. This grant will allow the Institute of Security Studies to support the development of a regulatory regime for the growing private security sector in Africa. The project will focus on a revision of the 1977 Organization of African Unity (OAU) Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa and the development of pro forma regulatory frameworks for the private security sector at the national and regional levels. The ultimate goal is to ensure that security forces and services are governed according to the principles of democratic control, transparency and accountability.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

End Date

Friday, November 7, 2008


24 months

IDRC Officer

Karuru, Njeri

Total funding

CA$ 391,800


North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Len Le Roux


Institute for Security Studies

Institution Country

South Africa

Institution Website