The Changing Dynamics of Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Africa: Towards Effective Prevention and Counter-terrorism Strategies

The HORN Institute organized an international conference on terrorism and violent extremism on 24 – 26 April, 2018 in Nairobi (Kenya). The theme of the conference was The Changing Dynamics of Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Africa: Towards Effective Prevention and Counter-Terrorism Strategies. The core objectives of the conference were to: provide a platform for exchange of ideas and experiences in countering terrorism and violent extremism in Africa; discuss the changing trends in conflict and terrorist activities in Africa and the Middle East and its impact on the security of countries in the Horn of Africa region, Africa and the world at large; interrogate successes, failures, and shortcomings in the war against terrorism as well as develop policy reference frameworks and make recommendations for fighting radicalization, terrorism, and violent extremism; and evaluate successful case studies on de-radicalization and countering violent extremism for purposes of adopting best practices. Key topics discussed included: political and religious extremism; ideological dimensions; state responses to terrorism; preventing and countering violent extremism; gender and terrorism; role of schools in countering extremism; media and terrorism; terrorism financing; terrorism and human rights; critical infrastructure protection; conflict dynamics in the Gulf and the wider Middle East, and their impact in Africa; global trends in terrorism and violent extremism; terrorism, trauma and counselling; radicalization and de-radicalization; and case studies from Somalia, Nigeria, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria, among others. In sum, the conference provided scholars, practitioners, government officials and other policy-makers an opportunity to discuss the scourge of terror in all its complexities and to share the lessons learned by drawing on own experiences in countering this threat. There was a general consensus that, effectively addressing terrorism and violent extremism requires maximum coordination by all relevant agencies involved in this fight: governments, non-governmental organizations, regional bodies, research and learning institutions as well as community organizations.