Research, documentation, and publication are key to spreading understanding of new types of armed conflicts

CESDI: Unraveling the puzzle of complex guerrilla warfare in Africa

Providing vital knowledge for the future of a united Africa

© 2016 David Veg / Jave Z.

With the end of World War II, many statisticians and politicians speculated that the world was “forever changed” in regard to how war would be waged in the future. Indeed, World War II proved that new technologies—submarine warfare, aerial warfare, advanced computers, and atomic bombs among them—could easily tip a regional conflict into an all-out global war.

Perhaps because of the fear for the new mass-destruction capabilities of weaponry developed in the early 50’s, Russia and the United States of America entered into what was called the “Cold War.” This period, that spanned from 1947 until 1991, resulted in several diplomatic misunderstandings, small-scale regional conflicts, and a few military interventions, but, surprisingly, not a single massive engagement nor the dreaded Third World War ever came to fruition. The Cold War Era effectively stunted the possibility of major military clashes at the continental or global scale, leaving the world of war into an age of guerrilla warfare clashes between smaller groups.

It is precisely this guerrilla warfare, the micro wars and localized outbursts of conflict between warlords, terrorists, and fanatical groups, that has carried the horrific legacy of war forward in these early years of the 21st century.

In fact, the possibility of a Third World War seems absolutely remote these days, especially considering that the USA, China, Russia, The United Kingdom, and France remain as allies—at least on paper—and that they have been joined by Japan and Germany, which were the two principal Axis powers during WWII, and the remainder of the European Union. There is simply not a major global player that does not form part of either NATO or the United Nations. This scenario means that the most common types of war that the 21st century population will experience will be guerrilla and terrorist wars.

© 2016 David Veg / Jave Z.

Studying the present to protect the future

Understanding this reality, a group of university researchers formed CESDI (Centre for Strategic Studies and International Development) in 2013. Based in Benin, CESDI is committed to the study and understanding of the specific context of rebel wars, separatism, or attempted secession. CESDI is known for its dedication to analyzing data and creating information kits on the issue of armed terrorist groups in Africa and its related problems: poverty in African countries, regional integration, prevention of armed conflicts, and especially, conflict management in Africa.

The CESDI provides a deep understanding of the African geopolitical situation, creating research material specifically based on the new types of armed conflicts. Following these criteria, one of its lines of research is the prevention, management, and resolution of new types of armed conflict through the study of the risks, threats, causes, and consequences of these modern wars. Its areas of focus are conflicts in the sub-Saharan, Sahelian, and the Gulf of Guinea regions, and peacekeeping operations undertaken by African subregional organizations.

This complex line of research is vital to support future integration efforts for African countries, because it represents the much-needed first step in the dream of creating a strong and influential African Union in the model of the European Union. Under the pressure of the constant guerrilla warfare that plagues the continent, the creation of an African Union seems to have a bleak future unless national governments can achieve a high level of understanding into the causes and consequences of these modern types of wars.

In that sense, the CESDI understands perfectly their role as an instrument of enlightenment, and it strives towards creating high quality academic content that can shed some light on the processes of continental lawmaking, African governance, and the management of international and regional peacekeeping operations.

For its commitment to the complex and vital work of deciphering the root causes and consequences of guerrilla warfare and other forms of terrorism, for its dedication to the future of Africa, and for its understanding of the importance of proper and technically accurate research in order to create a lasting peace in Africa, Business Initiative Directions has decided to grant the 2016 BID International Quality Award to CESDI in recognition of its commitment to Quality Culture and the pursuit of excellence.


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.