”Security policies are modelled often as a function of threat perception”.
-Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar
The West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) is an independent regional organization focused on Preventing Violent Extremism and conflicts in West Africa. Our research and outreach programs are intended at uncovering the underpinnings of radicalization and violent extremism to support state and regional counter-terrorism policies and strategies. For more than 8 years we have worked with local communities, state and non-state actors to deepen understanding around violent extremism and its drivers and helped to build resilience against the threat.
WACCE was founded in 2014 in response to the growing number of vulnerable West Africans who were succumbing to terrorist ideals. As the threat of violent extremism descends from the Sahel towards coastal states, states such as Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin hitherto unknown for terrorism form a key focus of our Preventive activities.
Our work is grounded in a human security framework that prioritizes a focus
and preservation of lives and livelihoods. We approach relies on local community actors and grassroots elements and we believe in a bottom-up approach to dealing local challenges.
During this period (2014), West Africa was the deadliest region globally for terrorism fatalities recording over 7,200 – ahead of ISIS for the same period.
In the last 8 years, WACCE has worked hard to dissuade 23 radicalized individuals from joining terrorist groups including a radicalised youth who was stopped by WACCE just a day before he was scheduled to depart for ISIS.
WACCE’s operations are grounded in a human security framework that prioritizes the protection of the individual and society. We evaluate the effectiveness of security measures on the basis of the quality of being, the protection of lives and preservation of communities, not on the basis of the number of criminals killed or apprehended.