"The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the progress that has been made towards the establishment of the African Standby Force (ASF) at continental and regional levels. The text necessarily draws heavily on a number of official documents that have been produced in the wake of a series of recent planning meetings at various levels across the continent. The first section provides a review of the continental framework as it has evolved to date and been adopted by the AU. Subsequent sections deal with progress in three regions in Africa, namely the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The conclusion highlights the most salient challenges to be overcome if the ASF is to become a meaningful and effective conflict management tool in the hands of the PSC."