Despite significant advances in human and economic development over recent decades, the West African region continues to face a number of  considerable security challenges. From the twinned-problems of insurgency and terrorism in the Sahel to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, insecurity threatens to derail the on-going progress and  development that the region as a whole has achieved. Addressing these  challenges involves increasing our understanding of  both the root causes of insecurity in the West Africa and how policy-makers in the region might seek to alleviate them.

The West Africa Peace and Security Network (WAPSN) is a trans-continental initiative to promote debate, foster dialogue, and support the co-production of research on peace and security issues in West Africa. The Network brings together specialist scholars and practitioners from around the world and, through its activities, aims to produce state-of-the-art research that can underpin policy and effective action in the region.

The WAPSN aims, in particular, to create the space, time and opportunities for the free exchanges of ideas, scientific cooperation and practical interaction between policy and academic worlds. Its core objectives include fostering practitioner-informed research and research-informed policy. It provides a framework that supports its members both to develop inclusive research teams or clusters organized around specific research problems, and to participate in the Network’s broader activities – including regular symposia held in West Africa – in order to share and discuss their findings with the wider academic and policy communities.

The network is run by a steering-group consortium of research institutions in West Africa, Europe and North America.