Journalists were invited to a media briefing on the African Standby Force on Monday 23 November at 9 am, at the African Union Headquarter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The African Standby Forces (ASF) aims at providing Africa with a capability to deal with crisis. The AMANI AFRICA cycle, a vehicle through which the ASF can be evaluated, is now entering a crucial phase.

This media briefing consisted of

– An explanatory briefing to the press (9 AM TO 9:15 AM)
– An opportunity to attend partially a PSC meeting (9:15 AM TO 10 AM)
– A Press briefing with African Union Peace and Security Chairman and other representatives (10 AM TO 10:30 am)

FACTSHEET: African Standby Forces entering another stage

1. What is the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) ?
The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) constitutes the framework for crisis management on the African continent. The African Standby Force (ASF) is considered the operational arm of this framework. The African Union’s (AU) ambition is to make the African Standby Force operational in 2010.

2. What is the African Standby Force (ASF) ?
The ASF is composed of the Regional Standby Forces which are being developed across the continent in order to provide Africa with a capability to deal with crises. Africa and the European Union (EU) have adopted a joint strategy comprising several action points in order to meet the objectives. Thus far procedures have been developed, forces identified, exercises mounted and evaluation is currently underway.
The five African sub regional organisations are preparing this multidimensional capability, encompassing military, police and civilian components. This force will be available at both Sub Regional and Continental levels.

3. What is the AMANI AFRICA cycle ?
The AMANI Africa cycle is being used as vehicle to assist the African Union in making the African Standby Force operational through training and evaluating the continental decision making process.
The AMANI AFRICA cycle was officially launched on 21 November 2008 at the AU – EU Ministerial Troika in Addis Ababa. Over the two-year cycle the programme will conduct a range of activities to train AU Staff, in accordance with the AU /ASF doctrine and procedures to improve decision-making for crisis management at continental level. In practical terms it will involve strengthening the politico-strategic capabilities of the African Union by putting in place procedures and permanent mission structures covering everything from the political decision making to the commitment of forces and ensuring predictable funding.

4. Where in the process are we ?
After a series of preparatory activities aiming to increase awareness, the AMANI AFRICA cycle, is now entering a crucial phase with the Political Strategic Seminar/Conference (POLSTRAT).
In this, the African Peace and Security Architecture will engage its constituting bodies to develop a mandate and an integrated mission plan. A scenario, called CARANA, has been specifically developed for Africa. This will simulate a crisis in a fictitious area which needs an AU engagement.

5. What is the next step ?
The outcome of the ongoing POLSTRAT will allow the AU to implement its developed plan during the command post exercise in 2010 which is the culminating point of the AMANI AFRICA cycle. The existing structures will manage, implement and adjust a Peace Support Operation in order to address one of the situations that the African Standby Force is likely to face.

More information can be obtained from:
Ms. Brenda KOK Communication Officer AMISOM Tel: 0911387073

M. Christophe BOULIERAC, EU to AU press advisor Tel: 0911 511 619

Ms. Esther AZAA TANKOU, Senior Editorial Officer, Division of Communication and Information, African Union Commission, Tel. Mob. +251 911 3611 85, E-mail

Factsheet – doc
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