USALAMA REFORMS FORUM, KENYA

We interviewed newly elected ICoCA Board Director Caleb Wanga, National Coordinator of Usalama Reforms Forum in Kenya about the work of his organisation and his aspirations on the ICoCA Board.

Can you tell us about the work of Usalama Reforms Forum?

Usalama Reforms Forum is a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) working on broader security sector reforms in Kenya. The Forum was founded in 2008 as a coalition of CSOs working together to provide input on the new constitution of Kenya that was enacted in 2010. The objective of its formation was to consolidate public views to be included in the new constitution. It was later registered as an organization in 2016. Usalama’s main offices are in Nairobi, Kenya

How and why did Usalama Reforms Forum get involved in the private security sector?

At its inception, Usalama was focused on the broader reforms in the security sector based on the new constitution. Usalama has been working closely with the government to steer reforms in both public and private security sectors. Based on the new constitutional requirements, the private security sector was destined for reform through an act of parliament which was finally adopted in 2016. As a CSO, Usalama mobilised public participation in the process of developing the legislation to effect the necessary changes in the sector. In this way, Usalama became part of the reforms process targeting the private security industry.

What role do you see CSOs playing in ICoCA?

CSOs have four major roles to play in ICoCA. First, to build public awareness of ICoCA’s principles and standards. Second, to monitor human rights compliance by the industry. Third, to conduct training programmes for the industry and for CSOs. Fourth, to mobilize governments to be part of ICOCA.

You’ve just been elected to sit on the ICoCA Board, so what do you hope to achieve as a Board Director over the next three years?

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the ICoCA Board representing CSOs. My ambitions on the Board are threefold. First, I would like to see a very vibrant CSO networks around the world support the development of responsible private security industry. Second, I would like to see responsible private security industry actors playing a central role in security management in different countries and supporting their respective governments in the provision of responsible security. Finally, I would like to see more CSOs joining ICoCA and supporting fundraising initiatives for the organization.

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