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Recent years have witnessed a high number of relevant developments in the proliferation and use of drones in Africa in security and conflict contexts. Armed drones with different characteristics, from larger models to improvised gadgets, have been deployed by state and non-state actors and are influencing the way security and conflict are envisaged and practiced. In these contexts, drones are used not only as a weapon, but also as an advance recognition asset in support of more conventional warfare. At the same time, external intervention in Africa is expanding through the use of drones and other state-of-the-art warfare, while African citizens continue to be regular casualties of Western drone strikes in the continent’s territory. Yet the presence of foreign drones in Africa is happening through other means as well, including the construction of foreign drone bases and through aggressive commercial practices from foreign defence industries. Finally, some African states are joining other countries around the world in using drones in a law enforcement context.

This workshop is the first activity of the project Transnational Academic Network for the Study of Armed Drones (TRANSAD) and provides an opportunity to discuss and generate new knowledge on the developments described above. Additionally, it will allow a broader discussion on the role of Africa in security thinking and its specificities in the context of wider contemporary security trends.

Conference programme

8:45 – Coffee

9:00 – Welcome and opening remarks

Bruno Oliveira Martins, PRIO

Henrik Urdal, Director, PRIO

9:15 – 10:30 – Actors and Dynamics

Atta Barkindo, The Kukah Centre, Nigeria

Arthur Holland Michel, Centre for the Study of the Drone, Bard College, US

Dan Mahanty, Centre for Civilians in Conflict

Chair and discussant: Delina Goxho, Open Society European Policy Institute

10:45-12:00 – External intervention and Civilian Impact

Osama Mansour, Airwars, Libya/UK

Wim Zwijnenburg, European Forum on Armed Drones

Abdullahi Sheikh Abukar, Somali Human Rights Organization, Somalia (remote participation, introduced by Erskine Y. Apiiyah, PRIO and University of Oslo)

Chair and discussant: Morten Bøås, NUPI

12:00-13:00 – Lunch

13:15 – 14:30 – Regulatory Issues and the Law Enforcement Context

Kristin B. Sandvik, University of Oslo and PRIO

Simon Howell, African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum and University of Cape Town, South Africa

Discussant: Anna Andersson, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights

Chair: Jessica Dorsey, University of Amsterdam

Drone Proliferation 31. August

        ![Drone Proliferation 31. August](https://cdn.prio.org/cdn_image/1%20%282%29.jpg?x=720&y=480&m=Scale)

Photo: PRIO

14:45 – 16:00 – The Place of Africa in Security Studies and International Relations

Keynote address: Rita Abrahamsen, Ottawa University

Discussant: Bruno Oliveira Martins, PRIO

Chair: Inga Marie Nymo Riseth, PRIO

Drone Proliferation 31. August 2

        ![Drone Proliferation 31. August 2](https://cdn.prio.org/cdn_image/2%20%282%29.jpg?x=720&y=480&m=Scale)

Photo: PRIO