Building knowledge and skills that secure Africa’s future

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) works with partners to build knowledge and skills that enable sustainable peace, development and prosperity in Africa. Established in 1991, the ISS is Africa’s leading multidisciplinary human security organisation, with a unique operational model that combines research, policy analysis, technical assistance and training. The ISS has also developed a powerful forecasting capability to identify future risks and opportunities in fields as diverse as development, industrialisation, demographics, technology and climate change.

The ISS is independent, credible and has a reputation for delivering impact locally, nationally, regionally and internationally.

Headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa, the organisation has regional offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Dakar, Senegal and Nairobi, Kenya. The institute’s decentralised approach is underpinned by efficient governance structures and financial sustainability.

Our work covers African futures, transnational crimes, climate change, migration, maritime security and development, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, crime prevention and criminal justice, and the analysis of conflict and governance.

Using our networks and influence, we provide timely and credible analysis, practical training and technical assistance to governments and civil society. This promotes better policy and practice, because senior officials can make informed decisions about how to deal with Africa’s human security challenges.

ISS Areas of work

Africa in the world: ISS analyses the dynamics that shape Africa’s role in the world and advises on how to strengthen the continent’s position on global human security issues. Research and technical support help governments and regional organisations understand external interests and respond to global challenges.

African futures: Comprehensive forecasts help governments and development partners set the course for a prosperous continent. A data platform features integrated projections for 14 sectors, covering all African countries and regions. Our analysis is grounded in academic literature and maps ambitious but realistic forecasts, which are regularly updated.

Climate change and human security: ISS explores climate insecurity and its links to resource conflicts, corruption and organised crime. We offer research and technical support to governments, regional and continental bodies and ensure that African perspectives and priorities are included in global policy debates.

Gender equality: ISS considers the gendered nature of insecurity and promotes the need for gender equality. Gender cuts across all the ISS’ peace and security research, technical assistance and training, and we collaborate with organisations and networks skilled in achieving gender equality.

Governance, peace and security: ISS promotes national, regional and continental governance processes that are accountable, equitable and inclusive. Our work covers elections and democracy, conflict prevention and management, maritime security and the blue economy, migration and forced displacement, and security and governance of new technology.

National and transnational crime and violence: ISS examines transnational organised crime, corruption and violent extremism and the links between these threats. Research also covers community conflicts, criminality and inter-personal violence. ISS works with governments, regional bodies and civil society networks. We provide advice and technical support on policing, prosecutions, violence prevention, strategy development and inter-agency cooperation.