The panel provides a critical discussion about the African Standby Force (ASF ), major obstacles that hamper it from becoming operational, and its ambitions and potential towards "Africanising" Africa's security.
2003 marks the birth of the African Standby Force (ASF) project, with the endorsement by African Chiefs of Defense Staff of the "Policy Framework for the Establishment of the African Standby Force," which later on served as Roadmap for the development of the ASF. Although, over the last 10 years, progress has been made towards making the ASF operational, the record is a rather mixed one, as illustrate the postponement of the target date for the force to be ready from 2010 to 2015, significant imbalances regarding the development of different components or within the African regional organizations. The panel provides both: - a retrospect on the past 10 years, assessing what major obstacles have been (and are still) hampering the ASF from becoming operational, and - a critical discussion about ASF's approach, ambitions and potential towards Africanising Africa's security. Major challenges addressed include: • ASF's vulnerability towards conflicting interests on the State level or the balance of power behind each regional Regional Economic Community (REC); • the uneven emphasis given to the civilian, police and military dimension; • the need for ensuring increased cooperation, coordination and communication between the continental, the regional and the national level; and • the high dependency from external support as contradiction to the idea of African ownership of peace and security.