The APSTA List of Senior African Mission Leaders and Managers
The establishment of the ‘APSTA List of Senior African AU/UN Mission Managers and Leaders’ (APSTA-SAMM) is perhaps the first initiative of its kind to capture and document a comprehensive database of African practitioners and professionals who have played managerial and leadership roles in purely African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) peace operations, as well as those in the grey area of hybrid AU/UN missions.
The initiative by APSTA is consistent with the Association’s objectives, notably those relating to facilitation of exchange of information and best practices, and serving as a depository that offers advisory services to the AU, namely the Commission and the Peace and Security Council, on peace support operations issues.
Purpose and Uses
The main purpose of the APSTA-SAMM is to emphasize the need and utmost importance of capturing and documenting best practice associated with peace support operations. By establishing the List, it is expected that access to the personalities on the list would be availed to the AU system, the international community, including the stakeholders and partners of the AU System, for a range of purposes.
Thus, the APSTA-SAMM is expected to serve as a resource of experienced practitioners and professionals for the facilitation of seminars, roundtables and expert workshops on core issues of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). In this way, the men and women listed in the APSTA-SAMM would be enhancing educational, training, learning, research and policy implementation processes, especially those directly related to the Africa region.
The List is also envisaged to facilitate research by academia and policy development and implementation institutions in Africa and elsewhere, that need to interview the men and women who have played such roles and, in so doing, acquired tremendous field exposure and experience in the domains of conflict resolution, post-conflict peacebuilding and sustainable peace, security and development.
Finally, it is the hope of the Association that the APSTA-SAMM would also serve as a historical record and acknowledgement of the individual and collective contributions of such senior mission managers and leaders.
The structure of the APSTA-SAMM consists of the following:
a) Categories of Mandating Authorities:
The two main categories of peace operations used in the database are African- and UN-led missions, or hybrids. The African-led missions include those led by RECs/RMs, such as those by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development/Eastern African Standby Coordination Mechanism (IGAD/EASFCOM).
b) Categories and Range of Individual Entries:
The individual entries are limited to two categories, namely those relating to field missions and those relating to AU, RECs/RMs and UN Headquarters.
Within these two categories, the range of individual entries are limited to Heads of Missions (HoM) and Heads of Components (HoC), covering civilian, police and military entities, as well as mission Chiefs of Staff (CoS). However, the database on occasions includes information on deputy positions, if the resume of the individual includes a higher appointment/office.
These limitations are deliberate and the range could be lowered to other functional levels. However, widening the range, that is, lowering the functional levels, would immediately widen the scope of the database, with implications for resources in establishing a comprehensive, accurate database, even for such a small database.
c) Key Data on Individual Entries:
The data presented in the database include two categories, namely personal details and mission information.
The personal details cover full names, ranks/titles, nationalities and contact coordinates.
The mission information covers mission designations, including Host Nations (HN), where necessary, for better clarity, positions held by the individuals and the periods of office.
d) Military and Police Titles:
The military and some of the police titles used in the data are either those pertaining when the officers were in the respective positions, but others are the ranks currently held by the officers in their retired positions.
Building and Populating the Database
Readers and users of the List will notice that the data is incomplete. Without a doubt, not all the eligible persons, on the basis of the parameters used for the categories and ranges, are included in the existing database. This owes to lack of access to sources that could provide pertinent information.
It is obvious that the information obtained from some of the sources, especially those recalled from memory, may not be accurate, and this could cause errors in the captured data. Coupled with this weakness, the personal details of a number of the persons listed in the database are not complete.
We would therefore like to request our readers and users to assist in further building and populating the database, to add to its integrity and application. We would also like our readers and users to share the database with other colleagues who could assist in similar manner.
Sources and Acknowledgements
The data has been sourced from diverse sources, including individual Officials at the AU Commission (Peace Support Operations Division), Regional Economic Communities/Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) and UN Headquarters, as well as from the Internet and a few other publications.
The Secretariat expresses appreciation and thanks to all individuals and organizations that assisted by sharing information in their possession for the establishment of the database.
View the APSTA-SAMM
Edits: to edit/submit new information