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Africa Center for Strategic Studies workshop in Yaounde

[photo by Isabelle Kame-Domguia, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Yaounde]

Participants at ACSS Workshop

On January 12, 2011, the Embassy and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) of the U.S. Department of Defense organized a workshop in Yaounde on the management of cross-border resources in Central Africa and on combating maritime piracy.

The workshop was attended by over 150 participants including civilian and military personnel who have participated in ACSS courses; high-ranking military officials; and students from the Cameroon War College and the Center for Political and Strategic Studies at the University of Yaounde.  Cameroonians who have participated in ACSS courses have their own alumni group, known as the ACSS-Cameroon Chapter.  In his opening remarks, the U.S. Defense Attaché, Lt. Col. Scottie Morgan, speaking on behalf of the U.S. government, congratulated the ACSS-Cameroon Chapter for being “a strong  and supportive audience that can help improve communication process between the U.S. Embassy and not only the MINDEF, but also with other Cameroon government security stakeholders.”  Lt. Col. Morgan also thanked the MINDEF for supporting ACSS activities in Cameroon, which “are contributing to improving civil-military cooperation and capacity throughout Cameroon society.”

Speaking on behalf of the MINDEF, the Secretary of State in Charge of Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam, praised “the dynamic and fruitful cooperation between Cameroon and the United States, notably in the area of defense and security.” Moreover, he commended the U.S government for its commitment in fighting maritime piracy, cross border criminality, and weapons and drug trafficking.

Created in 1999, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington D.C. is a U.S. Department of Defense institution that supports the development of U.S. strategic policy towards Africa by providing a variety of programs; fostering awareness and dialogue on U.S. strategic priorities and African security issues; and building trusting long-term relationships with African military and civilian leaders.  ACSS has two regional offices – one in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the other in Dakar, Senegal. The ACSS-Cameroon Chapter, one of the largest in Central and West Africa, has about fifty members.