Senegalese Ambassador visits University

Professor Tony Chafer with the Ambassador of Senegal, His Excellency Professor Cheikh Ahmadou Dieng

Professor Tony Chafer with the Ambassador of Senegal, His Excellency Professor Cheikh Ahmadou Dieng

The Ambassador of Senegal visited the University of Portsmouth this week to speak about tackling security challenges in West Africa.

His Excellency Professor Cheikh Ahmadou Dieng discussed Senegalese perspectives on security issues that affect the wider region – such as crime, piracy, terrorism and drug trafficking – at the West Africa peace and security network annual workshop.

He said: “I am very happy to be part of this event. The geographical location of Senegal makes security issues very important.”

Delegates at the workshop

Delegates at the workshop

Senegal has a historically stable democracy in a region that has seen coups, dictatorship and Islamist extremism. The Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to neighbouring Mali and Mauritania, but Senegal has long been considered a safe destination.

Professor Dieng said: “Senegal’s location, discovery of gas and oil, fishing industry and politically stable system has enabled a strong business environment, but we still need to be aware of our regional position.”

Hosted by the University’s Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the workshop involved panel discussions on female jihadism, violent extremism, youth radicalisation, maritime security and the rise of Boko Haram.

Tony Chafer, professor of French and African studies, welcomed guests to the annual workshop organised as part of the West Africa Peace and Security Network (WAPSN).

Professor Tony Chafer and the Ambassador along with other speakers and guests

Professor Tony Chafer and the Ambassador along with other speakers and guests

He said: “WAPSN was born in 2015 at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. The idea was to create a forum in and space in which academics and practitioners working on these issues can come together. We now have over 200 members and several research clusters facilitating knowledge exchange and producing policy recommendations.”

Other guest speakers at the workshop included Dr Linda Darkwa from the University of Ghana who spoke via Skype, Aoife McCullough from the Overseas Development Institute, Dr Kamal Deen-Ali, executive director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa and Mr Aliou Diallo, first counsellor from the Senegalese Embassy.

The Ambassador on board HMS Victory

The Ambassador on board HMS Victory

The Senegalese delegation also visited the Royal Navy’s HMS Victory earlier in the day. They received a ceremonial welcome on board the historical vessel and a guided tour from WO1 Dickie Henderson, executive officer of the ship.

This is the second annual workshop organised by WAPSN. Last year experts gathered to discuss piracy and maritime security in and around the Gulf of Guinea.

The Centre for European and International Studies Research is the one of largest centres for interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences in UK Higher Education.

UoP News © 2017 All Rights Reserved