SADSEM – the Southern African Defence and Security Management Network – was launched in 2000 as an attempt to enhance democratic governance and the effectiveness of defence and security functions in Southern Africa. The network partners in 10 SADC countries and activities in all 15 – has made major efforts to advance and support improved security sector governance in the region. This report is an output of an independent assessment commissioned by SADSEM through the University of the Witwatersrand.

The report concludes that SADSEM is a pioneering and innovative initiative with an impressive record of activities and outputs. The gradual establishment of SADSEM over the past ten years is testimony to individual leaders seizing an historical window of opportunity, and being astute and careful in nurturing interpersonal, organisational and political possibilities.

SADSEM’s main achievements in its training programmes are its success in building in-country capacity to deliver training courses, and in its pioneering efforts to open space for debates on national and regional security policies by bringing security institutions together, and by bringing security institutions together with civilians. More than 3500 people have benefitted directly from specialised courses offered by SADSEM. Furthermore, the launch of diploma and masters courses in security studies and security sector governance in several SADC countries will produce a steady stream of postgraduate students and security-literate officials in the years to come.

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