AU Watch

Human Security

For many people, today’s world is an insecure place, full of threats on many fronts. Protracted crises, violent conflicts, natural disasters, persistent poverty, epidemics and economic downturns impose hardships and undercut prospects for peace, stability, and sustainable development. Such crises are complex, entailing multiple forms of human insecurity. When they overlap, they can grow exponentially, spilling into all aspects of people’s lives, destroying entire communities and crossing national borders.

Many important aspects of human development relate also to people’s security: loosely defined as people’s freedom from fear and freedom from want in a broad sense. Applying a human security approach offers an opportunity to analyse many issues in an informative way.

In Africa few studies have analytically examined and responded to contextual threats for people-centred, comprehensive, context-specific and prevention-oriented analysis and exploring basic security questions. The AU agree that globally few tools exist that comprehensively measure human security while none have an African context and specificity. AU Watch is, therefore, coming up with its own Human Security Index (AHSI) as an attempt to provide a holistic assessment of human security through the seven dimensions of economic security, food security, health security environmental security, personal security, community security, and political security. It also directly responds to both Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda on the centrality of human security as an enabler and precondition for sustainable and inclusive development.