From locks at an armoury to an African Common Position on Small Arms Control—our project takes on the current challenges in small arms and light weapons (SALW) control in Africa from the practical to the strategic level. We support our partners in implementing the provisions set out in relevant SALW control regimes, thereby strengthening these regimes, countering the risk of diversion and unintended explosions and increasing community security.
Our embedded advisors in the African Union and ECOWAS and technical staff in Bonn provide advice and capacity-building to national, regional and international organisations. Our methods include facilitating dialogue, supporting regional training of trainers in physical security and stockpile management (PSSM), harmonising regulatory frameworks and introducing new components as needed. We also conduct mixed-methods research to analyse the impact of environmental changes on conflict and the use of SALW.
During the reporting period, we supported the African Union in developing an African Common Position on Small Arms Control in preparation for the 2024 UN Programme of Action on SALW Review Conference. We continued to support PSSM through regional training courses for technical experts in the RECSA and ECOWAS regions. These courses create regional pools of trainers who can act as multipliers and train technical staff at local, national and regional levels.
With RECSA, we developed a new training module focusing on cross-cutting issues in the region. We also developed and implemented new training on identifying and tracing weapons and continued to produce and disseminate updated SALW guides and infographics during our training activities and other events. A cornerstone of our project is an annual course in Germany where we sensitise senior representatives of African national and regional organisations to the importance of weapons and ammunition management (WAM), and how to make meaningful improvements in arms control.
The Interactive Guide on Small Arms and Light Weapons is an open access tool, designed to build knowledge on how to identify different types, makes and models of commonly used SALW in organized violence; to collect data on the global and country-specific spread of these SALW; and to describe some of their visual and technical specifications.
The guide is not an exhaustive list of all SALW that are used around the world.
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The objective of this website is to provide AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities, Regional Bodies, Implementing Agencies, Donors, as well as academia, civil society and private researchers with a broad range of information relating to, legal frameworks, options for requesting technical support provided by the African-Union Roster of SALW-Practitioners as well as tools and state of the art publications on SALW control.
Infografic: SALW control in Africa: Organisations, treaties and instruments (pdf, in English, Arabic, French)
Keep The Safety On (24 min.)
Illicit weapons and the threat of armed violence (2.35 min.)