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Capacity building

The main objective of the capacity building component of the African Peace Facility (APF) is to give the African Union (AU), the Regional Economic Communities and the Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) the necessary instruments to address security challenges through effective and efficient institutions. This should have a positive knock-on effect for the planning and conduct of PSOs, as well as for the operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).This component therefore supports the implementation of the 2016-2020 APSA Roadmap.  Over EUR 212 million have been contracted since 2004 under the capacity building component of the APF. 


Main projects and initiatives

The flagship EU initiative in this context is the APSA Support Programme. This fourth phase of the programme has a total budget of EUR 40.5 million. It started on 1 March 2020 and will last four years.
The overall objective of the fourth phase of the APSA Support Programme is to reduce the incidence, duration and intensity of violent conflicts in Africa. The specific objectives are that:

• The conflict cycle management under APSA is improved, with a focus on effective Early Warning Systems and the African Standby Force.
• The effectiveness of cooperation within and around the APSA framework (including with CSOs) is enhanced.
• The APSA is more inclusive of youth and children.

It also implements the recommendations formulated by the Court of Auditors in its Special Report on EU support to the APSA:

• The programme has a limited number of priorities centered around three specific objectives and 11 expected outputs,
• Results are well defined and structured in a clear logical framework with SMART indicators.
• The support to operational costs and salaries has been limited to the essential.
•  A robust third party monitoring, evaluation, and reporting system is in place.

In parallel, through the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), the APF supports the operationalization of the AU Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), in order to strengthen capacities of the AU to better detect, analyse and thus prevent conflicts in Africa.

The objectives are 1) to enhance the capacity of the AU CEWS staff to develop the technical and analytic skills necessary to deploy and operate the AU CEWS components; and 2) to improve the CEWS, thus enabling AU decision-makers to detect emerging risks and security threats.

Through this programme, computer engineers from the JRC contribute to improve the existing softwares of the AU CEWS – mainly the African Media Monitor – and to develop new ones – such as the Conflict Alerting and Analysis System. This programme also fosters the strengthening of a community of practitioners working on early warning, notably by reinforcing the cooperation and sharing of information between the AU CEWS and similar systems of the Regional Economic Communities.

The most recent phase of this support to the JRC – AU CEWS technical and scientific cooperation, which lasted from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2019, benefitted from a budget of EUR 1 million.


Key successes & achievements

  • According to the APSA Impact Report  published by IPSS with the support of GiZ, 53 violent conflicts across Africa were eligible for intervention by APSA actors in 2018. The AU and RECs intervened in 31 conflicts   through diplomacy, mediation, peace support operations (PSOs) or a combination of all three elements.
  • Among these interventions, 74% were deemed to be of high or medium quality regarding their appropriateness and conduct.
  • 58% of these interventions were successful or partially successful in either de-escalating or preventing conflict.


Facts & figures

Table 1: APF financial overview under the 9th, 10th and 11th EDF (in million EUR as of 31.12.2019)


Global Commitments  Total


Individual Commitments (contracted)  (PSO, CB, ERM only)


Individual Commitments (paid) (PSO, CB, ERM only)


9th EDF




10th EDF




11th EDF








EUR 13.8 million for Audit, Evaluation, Communication and Technical Assistance are not included in this figure.