Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff College (RDFCSC), in collaboration with the University of Rwanda (UR), organized a three-day National Security Symposium under the theme: "Contemporary Security Challenges: The African Perspective". The primary aim of the symposium was to deliberate on matters of national, regional and continental security with a view to developing practical solutions.
The Sixth National Security Symposium was held at Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff College (RDFCSC) Nyakinama in Musanze District. The three days conference, was officially opened on 14 May 2018 and Closed on 16 May 2018 by Hon Minister of Defence, Gen James KABAREBE.
In his opening remarks, Gen James KABAREBE underlined the relevance of the symposium to College Students: reiterated that this symposium is an opportunity for college students and other participants to engage in discussions about the real-life security challenges that affect military profession.
Maj Gen Jean Bosco KAZURA the RDFCSC Commandant, pointed out that it is gratifying to see that each year, this security symposium has kept on growing bigger and stronger in scope and significance, thanks to the highly appreciated participation of various contributors from different parts of the world.
One of the topics discussed was “The contribution of African Home Grown Solutions to African Problems: the AU Perspective”. Other topics included: “External Interference in Africa: a Threat to African Security. Challenges and Mitigation Strategies”; “Contemporary Approaches to UN Peace Support Operations: Failures Successes and Way Forward”; “Governing the Cyberspace: a Global Security Imperative”; “Illegal Migration as a Security Threat to African and Beyond: the African Perspective”; “Role of Women in Building a More Secure Africa: AU Perspective”; as well as “The Contemporary Asymmetric Threats to African Peace, Security and Development: the Way Forward”.
Participants to the National Security Symposium 2018 expressed the crucial need of African problems ownership by Africans themselves for peace and sustainable development on the continent. The 3 day discussions held at RDFCSC in Musanze were marked by researched presentations and deep discussions.
The first session discussed “Contemporary approaches to External Interference in Africa: a Threat to African Security. Challenges and Mitigation Strategies”; with Gen James KABAREBE, Minister of Rwanda Defence Force, Prof Patrick Loch Otieno LUMUMBA, Prof Ibrahim Agboola GAMBARI (Former SRSG UNAMID) and Prof Adebayo OLUKOSHI whereas the moderator of the session was Mr Joseph WARUNGU.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Hon Louise MUSHIKIWABO; H.E. Ambassador Smail CHERGUI (AU Commissioner for peace and security); Dr Donald KABERUKA and Prof Anastase SHYAKA; discussing with participants on the contribution of African Home Grown Solutions to African Problems.
Dr Ayala WITTNER; Dr Monique NSANZABAGANWA, Dr Usta KAYITESI and Dr Anita KIAMBA; provided the Role of Women in Building a More Secure Africa.
While Maj Gen Samuel NGANGA Thuita from Kenya Defence Forces, Maj Gen J MITI from Zambia, Martin F KINDL (Asst Dir for Analysis, J2 USAFRICOM) and moderator of the session Maj Gen Innocent KABANDANA Special Operations Force Commander, discussed on the Contemporary Asymmetric Threats to African Peace, Security and Development.
The symposium was an opportunity for Senior Command and Staff Course (SCSC) 06 students to interact with high level policy makers, security practitioners, subject matter experts and scholars of security studies in interactive discussions on security challenges in Africa.
The symposium mainly recommended ownership of African problems by Africans as prerequisite to peace and sustainable development. “By the end of the symposium, the students had not only gained the requisite knowledge and skills, but they had also sharpened their awareness and readiness in their quest for better performance on the field, with clarity and understanding of the geo-political nature of contemporary regional and African security challenges”.
Maj T A OMONDI from Kenya (Student at RDFCSC) talking with the local journalists.
On the official closing day, the Minister of Defence, Gen James KABAREBE thanked all participants and particularly speakers and moderators for the invaluable contribution and fruitful discussions.
The Sixth National Security Symposium was attended by high level distinguished invited guests including Ministers, Ambassadors, Senior Military Commanders, Academics and members of the press. They all joined RDFCSC faculty members and Students.