Call: CODESRIA 2016 Democratic Governance Institute: The African State and Public Cyber-Security Service

Deadine: 31 August 2016

Date : 31 October - 11 November 2016 

Venue: Dakar, Senegal

Topic:The African State and Public Cyber-Security Service

Call for Application: 2016 Session

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is pleased to announce the 2016 session of its Democratic Governance Institute. Researchers are invited to send their applications for that institute which will take place from 31 October - 11 November 2016 in Dakar, Senegal.

The CODESRIA Democratic Governance Institute, which was launched in 1992, is an annual interdisciplinary forum which brings together about fifteen researchers from various regions of the continent and the Diaspora as well as a few non-African researchers conducting innovative research on topics related to the general topic of governance.


The Institute’s sessions are supervised by a scientific director who, with the support of carefully selected resource persons, ensures that a large spectrum of research and policy issues is presented to the laureates. Each laureate is expected to write an article from his/her research work for presentation during the Institute. The revised version of the articles will be peer-evaluated for publication by CODESRIA. The CODESRIA Documentation and Information Centre (CODICE) will provide participants with a comprehensive bibliography on the topic of the Institute. The participants will also have access to the facilities of a number of documentation centres in and near Dakar.


The CODESRIA Democratic Governance Institute’s working languages will be English and French. Simultaneous translation will be available during the session.

The 2016 Democratic Governance Institute: “The African State and public cyber-security service ”

The 2015 Democratic Governance Institute session’s topic was “Cyber-Security, Sovereignty and Democratic Governance in Africa”. Among its recommendations was the need to deepen understanding on the theme of cyber-security by holding a second session. Thus the topic of the 2016 Institute is: “The African State and Public Cyber-Security Service”.

In an environment marked by growing insecurity, a widening digital gap at the expense of Africa, which, just like poverty, is becoming commonplace, the continent has not yet benefitted from all the advantages of the digital era but rather, undergoes more than anywhere else in the world its adverse effects. The collective work of the 2015 session researchers has enabled the study of cases that illustrate that democratic cyber-governance is at work; cyber-citizenship is under construction; Africa is starting to develop responses to cyber-threats and is aware of the need for building a prospective vision of cyber-security governance.

It is in the perspective of building a relevant and efficient cyber-security governance system that this year’s session is organized around the topic of public cyber-security service.

African States are settling in a digital vulnerability which spares no sector and, consequently, must protect themselves against the risk of digital dependency by encouraging thought on the place of digital technologies in the management of security and strategic threats (cyber-spying, cyber-sabotage, cyber-terrorism, cyber-war, etc.).

At the same time, the growing dematerialization of public service activities exposes the State and territorial communities to new computer-based threats in a period of more complex cyber-criminality and there is an increase of sensitive data leakages, loss of intellectual property, insecurity of crucial infrastructure exacerbated by the development of innovative technology (the multiplication of connected devices, cloud computing, social computing and next generation mobile computing). To add to this, the legal and regulatory framework is not always in alignment with current cyber-security challenges, which raises the issue of conciliating digital risks management with the requirement of the permanence of public service.

These are issues calling for reflection during the 2016 Democratic Governance Institute.
The overall objective of the 2016 session is to anticipate on the construction of an African vision of public cyber-security service with a view to strengthening state integrity and sovereignty in Africa.
Several specific objectives will also be considered among which are:

• the conceptual and legal grounding of public cyber-security service ;
• The analysis of public service principles (continuity, equality, mutability) as against a fully digital environment, specifically in relation to cyber-security;
• The analysis of the State’s capacity to implement public cyber-security service;
• Reflection on the role and place of the various users: internal users (civil-servants and other stakeholders) and public service users;
• Analysis digital identify and access management systems with regards to the e-administration and cyber-surveillance of public spaces;
• Analysis of protection regimes of critical infrastructure, data and intellectual property;
• Reflection on ways and means for strengthening political and legal cooperation in cyber-security matters.

The 2016 session of the Democratic Governance Institute will cover a large spectrum of topics around the five axes below:

1. Public policies for sovereign public cyber-security service
2. Ethical issues and cyber-security culture
3. The models of digital administration and e-governance
4. Compliance and legal surveillance of cyber-security, and
5. Public service and usages in matters of cyber-security.

The Director

Professor Abdoullah Cissé, an expert in cyber-law and cyber-security, will lead the 2016 session of the Democratic Governance Institute. He will ensure the following tasks:
  • Read and comment on the laureates’ proposals before the kick-off of the Institute;
  • Develop the Institutes’ lectures, including the specific sub-topics;
  • Give a series of conferences and conduct a critical analysis of the submissions presented by the resources persons and the laureates;
  • Draft and submit a scientific report on the session;
  • (Co-) edit the revised versions of the submissions presented by the resource persons towards their publication in one of the CODESRIA’s collections. For publication purposes, the Director will also assist CODESRIA in the evaluation of the submissions presented by the laureates during the Institute.
The Resource Persons

The objective of the lectures which will be given during the Institute is to provide the laureates with the opportunity to deepen their thinking on the topic. Consequently the resource persons will be confirmed academics or researchers who have published vastly on the topic and who have an important contribution to make in the debates. They will produce written materials which will incite the laureates to engage the discussions and debates on their papers as well as on all the available documentation on the topic.

Once selected, the resource persons must:
• Interact with the Director of the Institute and the laureates to help the latter readjust their research questions and their methodological approaches;
• -Submit a copy of their course materials for reproduction and circulation to the participants no later than a week before the presentation of their lectures;
• -Give their lectures, participate in the debates and comment on the laureates’ research proposals and articles;
• -Submit an article based on their lecture notes for publication by CODESRIA no later than two months after the Institute.

The Laureates

The applicants must be PhD students writing their theses or scholars at the beginning of their careers with proven capacity to conduct research on the topic of the Institute. Intellectuals active in the political process and/or in social movements and civil society organizations are also encouraged to apply. The number of places offered by CODESRIA for this session is ten (10) maximum. Non-African researchers who can finance their participation can also apply within the limits of the available places.

Application Files

The resource persons’ application files must contain:
1. A letter of application;
2. A curriculum vitae;
3. Two (2) published articles;
4. A proposal of five (5) pages maximum describing the topics which will be dealt with in their three (3) lectures, one of which will focus on methodology issues.

The laureates’ application files must contain:
1. A letter of application;
2. A letter testifying to his/her institutional or organizational affiliation;
3. A curriculum vitae;
4. A research proposal of ten (10) pages maximum which includes a descriptive analysis of the work the applicant wants to undertake, a summary explaining the theoretical interest of the topic chosen by the candidate, the relationship between the topic and the problematic and centres of interest taken into account by the 2015 Institute’s topic; 
5. Two (2) letters of reference from renowned academics or researchers with competence and expertise in the area of the applicant’s research (from the geographical point of view and in relation to the discipline), with their names, addresses, telephone numbers and electronic mail addresses.
6. A copy of the applicant’s internationalpassport.

Submission of Applications

All application or additional information requests should be sent by email to: governance.institute@codesria.sn

For specific questions, please contact:

The Democratic Governance Institute
Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop x Canal IV
BP 3304, CP 18524, Dakar, Sénégal
Tél. : (221) 33 825 98 21/22/23 


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