During the debate on peacekeeping operations in the Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly in 1994, African countries strongly expressed the view that they could take on a more active role in solving African conflicts.

Then South African President Nelson Mandela brought this up in a meeting with former Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, in March 1995, and suggested that South Africa and Norway could consider some kind of cooperation in this context.

The result was the Training for Peace programme (TfP), which is based on a unique North-South-South Partnership that draws on the strengths of its three partner entities: the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD); the Institute for Security Studies (ISS); and the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI).

What are the objectives of the TfP programme?

The programme’s main objectives are to provide support to the AUC to enhance knowledge and understanding of the evolving conflict and security environment on the continent; and contribute to strengthening the AUC’s comprehensive range of response capacities.

Overall, the goal is to contribute to strengthening the capacity of the AUC to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts and insecurity on the continent through deploying the full spectrum of peacemaking tools.

Partnership and trust amid uncertainty and flux

The TfP programme is currently in its sixth phase. It started with a focus on peacekeeping training in southern Africa 26 years ago. Today it has developed and adapted to Africa’s changing peace and security needs. TfP helps the African Union (AU) to:

  • Generate new knowledge derived from its own and related African peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding experiences and drawing on evidence-based research;
  • Develop innovative and world-leading policies, doctrine and guidelines that will guide the next generation of AU mediation, observer and peace missions;
  • Build the capacity of the personnel that will undertake, support and direct AU and African mediation, observer and peace missions, and support the AU to maintain the African Standby Capacity and the African Standby Force.
What do we work on?

Themes covered by the TfP contribute to preventing conflicts, Silencing the Guns and sustaining peace. These include:

  • Emerging security threats, such as violent extremism
  • AU peace support operations, with a particular focus on the
    role of police and civilian peacekeepers
  • In-depth support and research on Conflict prevention, PCRD and SSR
  • Ongoing research on UN/AU relations, including support to the AUPOM and A3
  • Inclusivity, with a particular focus on youth, women and gender
Our theory of change

Support to the AU Commission (AUC) and regional economic communities (RECs)/ regional mechanisms (RMs) contributes to increased knowledge and institutional capacity at the strategic levels. This enables the organisation and its RECs/RMs to effectively prevent and respond to conflicts and complex security challenges, thereby promoting and sustaining peace in Africa.

25 Years of TfP

View our journey here: 25 years of the Training for Peace programme