Responsible public Governance : an authentic and universal alternative for more efficient human and ethical public services
Dr. Stéphane Monney Mouandjo GD. CAFRAD Yaoundé May 2017
International Symposium


Democracy and the masses seem to be more and more justified reciprocally, as if the masses were one of the privileged modes of expression of democracy. However, the current democratic experience, especially in the movements of the masses, does not seem to conform nor merge with the idea of democracy. Between the system of government in which the people exercise sovereignty and the masses, co-extensiveness is much less obvious than it appears a priori.

Indeed, while the recent experience of democratic expression in some African countries has been confused with the masses’ protests, much of the management of this expression has tended to be limited to two points: the choice of leaders through the process of elections and the movements to challenge the deviations of certain governments or political choices. In the diptych elections-contestations is added the claim of adjustments or changes of regime through various modes of expression whose most important materializations is the fact to go out to the street.

Managing the masses becomes both imperative for the security of live and property and a form of governance of demonstrations and the management of a right to freedom of expression. While for some, this governance integrates the respect for the legal principles and State values, for others it must necessarily incorporate a dose of necessary risk to a rationalized practice of freedoms and rights in the State. These different positions necessarily imply a duty for the States to make a rigorous and skillful mixture between the two possible ends.

Recent events in Africa suggest a particularly fine approach since it is often difficult to find the just limit between the right to free expression of an idea and the equally incompressible requirement of preservation of peace and security in contexts where democratic culture and political maturity remain in the making, at least in their globalized liberal forms, which are now the subject of a consensual and even hegemonic choice in Africa.

The result is a set of questions which today must shed light on the stumbling blocks between the protection of popular expression as an integral part of democracy and the consolidation of this system in the face of the security threats posed by the movements of the people, real systems generating asymmetric violence throughout the world, and especially in Africa.

The imperative of this questioning and that of the in-depth reflections it calls are justified and impose themselves widely. They are based, among other things, on the different masses’ movements that have taken place in Africa in general and in Cameroon in particular, which need to open up the possibilities for renewal of reflection and solutions initiatives guaranteeing a more peaceful living together . They also aim at constructing more appropriate strategies based around ideals useful for rooting in the institutionalized principles and practices of the values of democracy, respect of rights and public freedoms, ensuring peace and security as well as the constant construction of national unity.

The two imperatives must also, through the effort they generate, provide a framework for building integrated African and Pan-African institutions for the maintenance and sustainable construction of peace, based on shared and harmonized common values and standards, such as to encourage exchanges and capitalization of experiences between actors from different countries. This symposium is therefore timely to initiate or densify resolutely an in-depth dialogue among experts and practitioners, institutional and academic specialists, as well as decision-makers working on African security issues in democracy. This should make it possible to discern inter-institutional bridges to build a critical mass of actors sufficiently equipped in order to build a true school of endogenous resolution of internal and other disputes on the African scale.


The reflection on the application of democratic principles with a view to overcoming a certain "governmental agoraphobia" characteristic of young States and democracies and the control of the risks linked to the public concentration of groups and individuals in the context of Polymorphic protest movements in an external environment is, as a matter of priority, a reflection of an operational type. Its central concept of Democratic Masses Management (DMM) implies, for the Security Forces, to protect people and their property during demonstrations by controlling the difficulties associated with human concentration in a generally urban perimeter, the movements generated by the massive human circulation, and particularly the mixed nature of demonstrators, some of whom may be peaceful, while, on the contrary, others may be highly disruptive because of their hostility, even if they are numerically inferior. The types of operational frameworks include that of the security service during large peaceful gatherings, usually recreational, that of the law enforcement during authorized demonstrations involving or causing a risk of disturbance to public order caused by various overflows or takeovers, or even the restoration of law and order in the face of violence of riot type, necessitating to start a showdown.

It is for the forces to protect the mixed masses while protecting themselves from violent elements, in respect of the regulatory framework and its prescriptions in terms of human rights and dignity. Since the capability dimension is fundamental here, the Forces insist on the need for tools and an architecture of adaptable and reactive practices for a hypermobile democratic management of masses, based on the units of collection and processing of information of police forces type (intelligence and operational anticipation cells), judicial police (brigades and / or research sections), and deploying through flow management units (road safety squadrons), specialized support units (helicopters, support for mobility, observation and exploitation of legal imagery), as well as assistance in the planning and design of crisis management systems.

However, when these capacitive and operational imperatives must be placed in a context marked by a logic of recurrence, acceleration or recrudescence linked in particular to the structural transitions of opening or democratic consolidation type that have been going through Africa for three decades, the movements of masses and the stakes of their mastery have a scope whose density involve more the political and governance dimensions than those operational. Both peaceful and riotous movements can lead to an extension of civil liberties in cases of conciliatory political response, as much as that the outbreaks of violence may have historically seemed to require an authoritarian restoration to contain threats to the security or even to the survival of the State .

Because they can then involve even the form and the durability of the States and their institutions, the movements of masses pose challenges that are strongly increased by the structural dynamics of democratic surplus (superiority of the level of development of civil liberties and in particular the free expression on the question of satisfying economic needs or the provision of opportunities for this purpose), which is the preserve of almost all African States. These issues and challenges require reflection not only on the democratic (operational) management of masses, but also on the democratic (strategic and political) governance of the movements of masses.

As part of the consolidation of their partnership and in view of the major structural and temporary challenges, both contemporary and prospective, CAFRAD and EIFORCES propose to reconcile and examine jointly, without neglecting the specificities, these two poles of reflection -action in an integrated perspective in relation to Africa's transformational devices, practices, trajectories, challenges and issues. This approach is all the more pertinent since it is always in and from the level of economic, institutional and technological development of societies that they integrate the technical-capacities components that ensure the various functions of DGM: intelligence and anticipation, modeling and simulation, surveillance (video surveillance, drones), communication systems, command and control centers, modules and practices for the protection of Security Forces and hostile or peaceful demonstrators in violent engagement.

The required mastery and its relative level in each State or society thus appear to be embedded in territorialized sets of arrangements of relations between cultures, capacities, knowledge, security and political know-how, agonic and irenic entities more or less subdivided, trajectories and practices of internal, relational and global security which make the device, a device more or less stabilized in the full foucaldien sense. Aiming to illuminate these African schemes in order to reinforce their relevance, coherence and efficiency, the contributions to the symposium will focus on answering to this central issue as a matter of priority: how the concepts, instances, capacities and practices of controlling the masses movements are articulated and should now be articulated in the perspective of consolidating the peace-security-central development continuum with the normative, praxeological and teleological coordinates of governance in Africa?


  • The democratic governance of the masses movements in normal and crisis situations: principles, concept and issues;
  • The historical dynamics of the masses management in Africa; between democratic aspirations and overflows;
  • Democratic management of masses movements in democracy and in PSO: operational lessons, RETEX and comparative perspectives;
  • Democratic masses management and governance: risks and opportunities for African visions and projections of transformational change and structural transitions;
  • Strengthening the democratic governance and management of masses in Africa: prospective and strategic and operational proposals on prevention and management.


The symposium is organized for actors and experts on security issues related to the theme:

  • Officials in the Ministries of Defense, Justice, the Interior or Internal Affairs;
  • The managers of the various security training, intelligence agencies, etc.
  • Heads of ministries responsible for internal and external security training;
  • Intelligence and related agencies’ officers;
  • National and international training and research institutions involved in security matters;
  • ICT managers in the Ministries of Defense, Justice, the Interior or Internal Affairs;
  • International institutions working in the field of security, emergency management, human rights;
  • Training institutions in related security areas, PSOs;
  • Organizations interested and/or involved in security and risk management. 


Resource persons are seasoned experts in the design of strategies for security problems, as well as others who are versed in the detection and prevention of crimes throughout Africa and elsewhere. These experts are mainly chosen by the organizers for their skills and/or from countries with relatively high success in masses and security management. These experts will work together to achieve the objectives of this symposium.


The symposium is expected to:

  • Renew the understanding of the security factors, expressions and risks of masses movements in Africa;
  • Deepen, interrogate, reconsider and consolidate the principles of both governance and masses management in democracy;
  • Put into prospect the experiences in normal and crisis contexts, internal or of deployment in PSO, to draw the vital lessons for the strengthening of analytical and intervention capacities;
  • Identify opportunities for capacity development and transformations that are likely to support innovative proposals in strategic, operational level and other for stakeholders and decision-makers.


Proceedings will be carried out in plenary session. Each session will be animated by resource persons who are tested experts in the relevant field. These resource persons will introduce the themes with presentations and thereafter lead discussions that will ensue during the questions-and-answers sessions. These will give rise to proposals that will be subject of a report, which will be presented together with recommendations and the action plan. Presentations and report will be published.

Proposals for contributions in French or English to be submitted in the form of articles in writing should be sent before May 17, 2017 to the following e-mail address:,

Dates: 24 – 25 May 2017
Duration: Two days
Venue: Yaoundé (Cameroon)
Languages: English and French (Simultaneous translation will be provided).

For more information about the seminar or CAFRAD, please visit our website: or contact us at the following address:

African Training & Research Centre
in Administration for Development (CAFRAD)
Pavilion International
P.O. Box 1796, Tangier 90001 - Morocco.
Office GSM: (+212) 661 30 72 69
Tel: (+212) 539 32 27 07
Fax: (+212) 539 32 57 85