The African Standby Force: An Element of Prospective Multilevel Security Governance
Volume 43 Issue 4
Published: 22 January 2016
Abstract: This article examines the African Standby Force (ASF), an African‐led mechanism for crisis management and peace consolidation in Africa, and its potential contribution to multilayered security governance. It analyses the ASF project, which has gone through many phases of redefinition since it was conceived in the late 1990s and elaborates on the inability of African stakeholders to settle on a clear concept, setting themselves ever more ambitious goals. International partners simultaneously suffer from, and contribute to, this state of affairs as their support too often responds to national or institutional interests. The ASF is also burdened by the lack of ownership by African countries and institutions. Only if AU member states make a conscious effort to increase their political, conceptual and especially, financial, stake in the ASF will they be able to credibly demonstrate that it is not an entirely foreign‐mastered project, but a real ‘African solution to African problems’.