The African Security Sector Network (ASSN) is a pan-African network of experts and organisations working in the area of Security Sector Reform (SSR). Founded in 2003, the network is headquartered in Accra, Ghana, with regional nodes in West, East and Southern Africa.

ASSN owes its uniqueness to its:

  • pan-African coverage, as the largest Security Sector Reform (SSR) specialist organisation of its kind; exchanging and synthesizing experiences and lessons from different traditions of security organisation and practice (Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone);
  • African-centred character, building and disseminating African principles, expertise and best practices;
  • multidisciplinary and cross-cutting membership –of researchers, analysts, civil society activists, parliamentarians and (active and retired) security practitioners– able to pool expertise, thus permitting the network to deal with a wide range of security sector issues in an integrated manner; and
  • multinational networking, which facilitates south-south sharing of experiences and lessons


The vision of ASSN is that of an African owned security sector that is democratically governed, people-centred, rights compliant, well managed, and accountable as well as effective in supporting and sustaining human security.


The ASSN is committed to facilitating progress towards the achievement of effective and democratically governed security sectors across Africa. While the majority of African think tanks focus on research and expertise dealing with conflicts and insecurity, the ASSN is the only African organization exclusively and specifically focused on promoting democratic governance of the security sector in a way that makes African people more safe and secure.


The core values of the ASSN are:

  • An African-centred agenda
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Inclusivity
  • Integrity and objectivity
  • Diversity
  • Responsiveness
  • Sustainability
  • Partnership