The many faces of human security: Case studies of seven countries in Southern Africa


This book represents the combined efforts of a team of researchers at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), our partners and friends through the Southern African Peace and Security Network (SAPSNet) and the Royal Danish embassy in South Africa, who funded the work. At the Institute the most important word of thanks must be to Dr Roger Kibasomba, Senior Research Fellow, who joined the ISS from the University of the Witwatersrand to take up the challenge of advancing the cause of human security in a divided and complex region. Keith Muloongo, deputy director of the Institute, brought many of his talents to bear, as did Jemima Njeri Kariri, my previous close working partner and now the civil society liaison officer at the ISS. They laboured under difficult and sometimes frustrating conditions to complete this volume, working with and through our partners in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The efforts of the following individuals also demand a particular word of appreciation: Colonel Manuel Correia de Barros (ret) from the Centro de Estudos Estratégicos de Angola (CEEA); Hubert Kabungulu Ngoy at Labor Optimus, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ana Leão from the ISS; Dr John Dzimba and Matsolo Matooane, from the Lesotho Institute for Public Administration (LIPAM); Dr Norman Mlambo from the Africa Institute of South Africa; Michael M Mataure from the Public Affairs and Parliamentary Support Trust (PAPST) in Zimbabwe; Dr Jonathan Lwehabura, then at the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation in Tanzania; Professor Gaudens Mpangala, Department of Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Dr Fredrick Mutesa, Department of Development Studies and Wilma Nchito, Department of Geography, University of Zambia.

A special word of thanks to Ambassador Torben Brylle and Ms Lone Spanner at the Royal Danish embassy for their inspiration and support as well as their patience in awaiting this volume. Compared with the rest of the continent, southern Africa is a recently liberated region. South Africa achieved majority rule only in 1994, and Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique some years earlier after destructive wars. Conflict in Angola, a legacy of the Cold War and South African destabilisation, concluded only after the death of Jonas Savimbi in early 2002. It should come as no surprise that the concept of human security is a contested one in a region where state security, for much of the previous century, has been against rather than for the region’s people.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has made a great deal of progress since its early days as an alliance of Frontline States against apartheid South Africa. Yet much remains to be done if the region is to move beyond the divisions of the past. If this volume demonstrates one issue, it is the real challenges facing people – rooted in poverty, marginalisation and a legacy of mistrust. It is these challenges, not the threats of armed invasion, international terrorism or failed states, that currently impact on much of Africa.

SADC, as an organisation, and the region need to invest heavily in a discourse on the nature of security and undertake policy research,development and planning in order to cease understanding security from a threat perception and vulnerabilities perspective. Peace, justice and order should come together to constitute the main pillars of our security in the future. We also need to find a way to manage power and the relative balance between states.

Finally, building security in southern Africa implies promoting and protecting common values, including a respect for human rights, individual freedom, democracy and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Common values are important because they foster the idea of common vision, the sense of purpose of a given society. We have a long way to go,but the journey is well under way.

Edited by: Keith Muloongo, Roger Kibasomba and Jemima Njeri Kariri

This research was made possible through the generous funding of the Royal Danish government through their embassy in South Africa

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