Shaping a more secure Guinea through community policing

Five Years of the Partners for Security in Guinea project

Through its five years (2015-2020) the Partners for Security in Guinea project worked to build trust between police and citizens and reform Guinea’s security sector through community policing. It took collaboration among the Guinean government, law enforcement, community leaders, and everyday citizens and a committment from all to sharping a security sector that was more inclusive and effective as well as rights-respecting.

Take a look through the stories, videos and materials that capture some of the project’s successes, innovations, and best practices and hear from those most involved in the project about their experiences in shaping a more secure Guinea.

About the project

From 2015-2020, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs has supported PartnersGlobal and consortium members COGINTA and CECIDE in implementing the Partners for Security in Guinea project. The project’s goal was to institute community policing in Guinea and to reform the security sector by improving relationships between police and communities so they could collaboratively address shared security challenges. Learn more about the project here.

Read about the project’s best practices and impact

Guide to Best Practices on community policing in Guinea The Guide shares the innovative initiatives, tools, and best practices that contributed to the project’s success and that can inform community policing initiatives and security sector reform in other countries Read More
In Guinea, citizens become “actors in their own security” Read about this national approach to improve police effectiveness and build citizen-police trust through officer training, community-based policing, and positive community-police interactions. Read More

Cliquez pour accéder au Guide en français.

Learn about our 2019 Share Fair

Click the reports below to read about the lessons learned and successes discussed at the Partners for Security in Guinea Share Fair.

Watch our webinar and check out the presentations below

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Jeudi 25 mars 2021
10:30 AM – 12 PM EST/ 14h30 – 16h GMT

Mot d’ouverture : Esther B. Joe, Chargée des programmes Afrique et Moyen Orient, INL


  • Mme Marguerite TEWA-CAMARA, Directrice Pays, COGINTA-Guinée : « Initiative des policiers référents à l’école » – promouvoir le dialogue entre la police et les élèves.
  • M. Moussa NIMAGA, Coordinateur du programme Paix-Justice-Sécurité, CECIDE : « La caravane des femmes » – restaurer la confiance avec la police et les femmes.
  • M. Fodé Shapo TOURE, Conseiller du Ministre de la Sécurité et de la Protection Civile : « Institutionnalisation de la police de proximité en Guinee ».

Modératrice : Dr. Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Directrice Senior des programmes Afrique et Femmes-Paix-Sécurité, PartnersGlobal

Cliquez pour accéder au Guide des Bonnes Pratique – Partenaires pour la sécurité en Guinée: la réforme de la police au service des citoyens

  October 16, 2020

Police Officer Ramata Mamadou Diallo grew up surrounded by insecurity, domestic violence, theft, and the marginalization of women. She understood early on that women and children suffered the most in this environment.

It is for this reason that when she got an opportunity to take a test to join the public servant corps in 2005, she requested to be assigned to the Ministry of Security and Civilian Protection. She wanted to protect and be of service to children and women who were victims of violence and contribute to peace and stability for families in her community. Three years later, in 2008, Officer Diallo formally joined the Guinea National Police.

Shortly after joining the police, Officer Diallo began advocating for greater integration of the gender dimensions in all police work, including in recruitment and training efforts. She favors using ongoing media messaging to sensitize women and youth on the role of police in securing their communities. Increasing women’s enrollment in the police is a goal of hers.

“Women’s participation in the security sector is a net positive because their service leads to trust, allows dialogue, and strengthens community policing,” says Officer Diallo.

“In all of the services where women police officers are in charge, women victims are well received, which has increased the likelihood that women victims will seek redress and protection,” she adds

Through her many training sessions in and out of Guinea, Officer Diallo has gotten a better understanding of the challenges women face, but these sessions have also strengthened her belief that progress is possible. She does caution, however, that a “greater solidarity among women is needed to succeed.”

In 2012, Officer Diallo was appointed to lead the Labé regional office of the Office of Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (known by its French acronym OPROGEM). This position, she said, allows her to realize her dream of serving and protecting women and children.

She has had many successes, but none seems to measure up to her 2015 rescue of an underage girl, straight from the hands of her kidnappers. The girl, a minor, had attempted to call her parents from a cell phone. Officer Diallo and her team used the mobile phone number to locate the victim and free her.

As part of the Partners for Security in Guinea project, Officer Diallo led multiple dialogue sessions between police, women, and youth. She visited several schools through the Police in School initiative that seeks to bridge the gap between teenagers and the police through civic education. She also contributed to the establishment of local security and violence prevention forums and trained local leaders on conflict resolution and crime prevention.

Prior to eventually retiring from Guinea’s National Police, Officer Diallo looks forward to serving at the national and international levels. She hopes her native Guinea will continue to honor a 30 percent gender recruitment quota and promote women officers to meaningful posts that will inspire the next generation of women police officers.

  October 15, 2020

Police Captain Jeanne Sagno has been with the Guinea National Police since 2008. She joined the police because she believes it serves an important role for public good—protecting people and their property, guaranteeing the security of state institutions, maintaining and restoring public order, and fighting criminality and gender-based violence.

In her more than decade-long service, two events have left an indelible mark on her: the rape of a 12-year-old girl who died from abortion complications and the case of a woman now permanently disabled from her husband’s domestic abuse. These events cemented her belief that women must be represented in the security sector in great numbers for community policing (police de proximité) to succeed. She says that because women constitute one of society’s vulnerable groups and are also victims of multiple forms of violence, they are best placed to provide actionable recommendations on how to guarantee the safety of women and their children.

As the Head of the Office of Protection of the Gender, Children and Morals (OPROGEM) Brigade at the Kaloum Police Commissariat in Conakry, Captain Sagno is doing her part. Through the Partners for Security in Guinea project, Sagno has partnered with civil society to inform women and youth of their legal rights and on how they can report violence against them to competent authorities, including the police. Her campaigning has led to higher number of reports filed as victims feel more empowered to go to the police.

Captain Sagno also serves as a Community Outreach Officer (or Policière Référente in French), a role that has taken her to many high school and university classrooms to educate students about the police. Her motto: Educate rather than punish.

She has also trained colleagues in the judicial police on conducting police searches or stops, handcuffing, and transporting suspects in ways that respect their human rights. Her training sessions have also included how to respectfully handle minors and peacefully manage protestors.

Captain Sagno looks forward to many more fruitful years serving her community, particularly women.

  October 14, 2020

Chief Police Commissioner Marie Gomez has a stellar 16-year career within the Guinean National Police. She has served as the officer in charge of law enforcement within the Judiciary Police, as the INTERPOL focal point on human trafficking, and with the police division in charge of science and technology. Over the years, she has completed training in Benin, Botswana, Burkina-Faso, Côte-d’Ivoire, Morocco, Rwanda, Togo, and Senegal.

She says her current position, however, is her most fulfilling. She serves as the Deputy Director of the Office of Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (known as its French acronym OPROGEM). In this role, she is serving some of the most vulnerable women and children in Guinea, which has been a lifelong dream of hers.

OPROGEM is tasked with combatting rape, child marriages, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence. This is a complex and challenging mission in her native Guinea, which has the sixth highest percentage of child marriages in West and Central Africa with nearly 2 million child brides, according to United Nations Children’s Fund’s 2018 estimates. It is, however, a mission that Chief Police Commissioner Gomez fully embraces, having joined the police to serve and defend the most vulnerable. Even before enlisting in the police corps, Gomez worked with vulnerable populations. Upon retirement, she hopes to still work with women-centered civil society organizations.

Most of the police agents and officers that Gomez interacts with are men, and she says she would like to see more women join the police, particularly at the senior level. To reach this goal, Gomez supports the recruitment of women to join the police force so they can be the police leaders of tomorrow.

Chief Police Commissioner Gomez believes increasing the number of women police officers will help improve the community’s trust in the police since women enjoy the trust of many social groups. This would aid the police’s overall goal of increasing trust with the community as part of its community policing policy (locally known as Police de Proximité).

More importantly, she says that more women on the force will improve how the police addresses and works to eradicate gender-based violence.

In the future, Gomez says she looks forward to an opportunity to serve in an international peacekeeping mission and to promote women’s participation in the security sector globally, both of which would “pay it forward” in her words.

by Solange Bandiaky-Badji   October 5, 2020

As many countries move toward reopening as COVID-19 cases fall, and in some places re-confinement as cases increase, law enforcement agencies will continue to play a key role in supporting the implementation of public health measures to contain the virus. For governments’ COVID-19 measures to be effectively implemented, governments should promote approaches that strengthen trust between security forces and citizens through increased and collaborative problem-solving. These efforts can not only improve countries’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic but serve as a foundation on which to build resilience to future crises. Our experience at PartnersGlobal shows us that these relationships can be strengthened even in the midst of a crisis.

Community policing (police de proximité in French), which many African countries have introduced over the last decade as part of security sector reform, is an approach that focuses on building ties between police and community members. Community policing not only strengthens trust and improves communication with citizens but can help security forces work more effectively. It can also build resilience to enhance responses to cross-cutting challenges, such as a pandemic.

In Guinea, participants in our Partners for Security in Guinea project, a U.S. Department of State-funded community policing project implemented over the past five years, are building on the police-community relationships they have established to respond to the current health crisis. Their collective and inclusive initiatives to prevent the spread of COVID-19 includ

  • The creation of COVID-19 response teams made up of district chiefs, police commissioners, health officers, and others who conduct awareness campaigns and implement prevention measures;
  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships among civil society, local leaders, women, and youth, which develop community-based action plans to prevent gender-based violence and the spread of COVID-19;
  • Local crime prevention councils that support community sensitization activities around COVID-19; and
  • Police officers trained to working in health emergencies and on preventing domestic violence.

These collaborative efforts of our partners in Guinea provide a blueprint for other countries to develop more effective approaches to peace and security. By strengthening trust between police and citizens, governments are better able to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and can build resilience to face future challenges such as disasters, pandemics, and climate change.

When we get past this current crisis, the success of COVID-19 responses and recovery plans will be measured not just by health and economic recovery but by how citizens—including women, youth, and the most vulnerable—have been involved and how their human rights have been respected.

For more information on proven strategies for building trust and cooperation between citizens and security forces, look at our brief “COVID-19 and Community Policing: Strengthening citizen trust with security forces in Guinea” and join us Oct. 7 at 10:30 AM EST for our webinar “COVID-19 and The Security Sector: Civil Society Experience in Building Trust Between Security Forces and Citizens in West Africa.”

RSVP here for English:

RSVP here for French:
*The webinar will be available in English and French

About the Author: Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Ph.D., is Senior Director of Africa and Women, Peace and Security at PartnersGlobal

  September 18, 2020

“I became a police officer to promote human rights and social justice and fight against child abuse,” says retired Brigadier (Brig) Chief of Officers, Astou Ndiaye. As a 28-year veteran of the Senegalese National Police from 1986 to 2014, Brig. Ndiaye has had an exemplary career worth celebrating.

Like most women officers of her caliber, Brigadier Ndiaye has been influential in Senegal and elsewhere in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As president of the United Nations Police Women’s Network in Mali in 2015, she increased women’s recruitment into Mali’s security and defense forces. Furthermore, she conducted gender and child protection training workshops for Malian women police officers in which the trainees were assigned to lead gender and child protection units in other countries. At the end of her tenure, the Police Chief of the United Nations Police (UNPOL) in Mali gave Brig. Ndiaye a glowing commendation for her endeavors to promote children’s and women’s rights; and strengthen the capacity of Malian women police officers overall. Reminiscing on her time in Mali, Brig. Ndiaye shares, “I am thankful to have used my experience to support Malian security forces, and it was an honor to have served my country, dutifully.”

In the DRC, Brigadier Ndiaye was involved in three peacekeeping operations under the UN. While there, she worked with authorities to investigate sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) or abuse, specifically within orphanages, displaced person camps, and reception centers for young girls who experience these challenges. Also, given the societal stigma in the DRC around rape and other forms of SGBV, Brig. Ndiaye’s also facilitated women’s reintegration into their communities.

Brig. Ndiaye’s experience in her native country Senegal is likewise impressive. It includes a stint with a particular anti-drug trafficking unit at the Leopold Sédar Senghor International Airport and an assignment with the National Central Bureau of the International Criminal Police Organization’s (INTERPOL), also based in Dakar.

So, given such an outstanding resume and more than 20 years of public service, what does the Brigadier do in retirement? Well, the same thing she has always done – advocate for greater women’s inclusion in the security sector in law enforcement. She does this mostly through the Association of Women’s Police Pioneers, an organization she co-founded with fellow veteran officers.

  September 18, 2020

Meet Commander (CDR) Salimata Seye. With a distinguished career spanning 35 years in Senegal’s National Police from 1982 to 2017, CDR Seye embodies what it means to serve one’s country. Further, her experience is emblematic of the increased participation and representation of women in Senegal’s security sector.

CDR. Seye often vocalized her thoughts on increased inclusion of women in training, stating, “I always encouraged higher officers to involve more women in my training sessions and meetings.” Indeed, throughout her colorful career, she led various capacity building interventions attended by police chiefs and representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Given her seniority, CDR. Seye was aptly positioned to advocate for junior women officers to facilitate these sessions, conduct assessments, and organize follow up discussions. Given the opportunity to facilitate these often maledominated forums give women officers confidence and practical experience early on in their careers.

In relating to that experience, CDR. Seye fondly recounts working with security and intelligence agencies at the airport and port of Dakar. She also briefly served with a special customs brigade that monitored small arms possessions, drug, pharmaceutical crimes, forestry crimes, investigating suspected violations committed in waters, human trafficking, and illegal drinking establishments. However, she is most proud of being the head of the International Criminal Police Organization’s (INTERPOL) National Central Bureau in Dakar, from November 1998 to December 2000. CDR Seye notes “I regulated INTERPOL policies and standards, ensuring greater collaboration across law enforcement at the national level.” Unsurprisingly, she excelled in this position, which subsequently led to a promotion to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat in Lyon, France where she remained for ten years. The Commander finds joy in mentoring junior women officers to overcome societal stigmas and gender barriers and to establish a distinguished career in law enforcement.

Now retired, CDR. Seye remains a respected figure in the security sector and indefatigable in advocating for women’s inclusion. She currently serves as the Vice President of the Association of Female Pioneers of the National Police, as an advisor to the police and gendarmes, and as a critical regional liaison across various security sector stakeholders.

  September 17, 2020

Meet Major Coumba NGouye THIAM, who held 37-years of service with the Senegalese police from 1981-2018 as a police detective with facilitation and senior training skills. During her civil service career, Maj. THIAM blazed trails for African women in the security and defense sector in her home nation of Senegal. Initially drawn to the sector’s police branch by the sharp and powerful uniforms worn in 1981, her motivation later evolved to a more substantive purpose of becoming an actor for security and defense. And Maj.

THIAM would go on to do precisely that in her illustrious career. Initially having embarked upon her professional course in Senegal, Maj. THIAM’s direction took a new trajectory towards service in several diverse missions of the United Nations. This focused dedication propelled Maj. THIAM to advocate for more representation of women in her role as the Chief of Staff by responding to gaps in how the United Nations Police (UNPOL) and Formed Police Unit (FPU) in the Democratic Republic of Congo overlooked gender-equality. Her draft proposal of a Women’s Office within these UN security entities was submitted and approved by MONUSCO police chiefs.

This accolade transpired into her election as president of her proposed Women’s Office. Maj. THIAM subsequently has served proudly in the UN country missions of Cameroon and Burkina Faso as MONUSCO’s Chief of Staff. She led an “All Female Training” program that mentored women of the defense and security forces to pass the mission aptitude test. Maj. THIAM’s and her teams’ training produced never before seen success rates of deployed women in UN missions. Today as a decorated retiree, she continues her work by mentoring up and coming women police officers. She is currently a member of the Association of Female Pioneers of the National Police as the General Secretary. Maj. THIAM also consults Partners West Africa Senegal (PWAS) and with international and national organizations on trainings in the security sector and defense.