The African Studies Course provides knowledge and updated information to high-ranking State officials and military and civilian senior officers from the Portuguese-speaking countries community (CPLP – Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa) about the African strategic context. The course focuses the political, strategic and military dimensions thus allowing the establishment of an analytical framework on strategies from African actors in articulation with other international agents. This analytical framework also stresses the management of regional conflicts, namely peacekeeping and humanitarian operations and State-building measures.


  • Recognize the usefulness of the Armed Forces in today’s strategic environment, but also its constraints and the need of constant knowledge updates;
  • Provide information, and promote reflection and discussions that allow students/readers to produce critical knowledge about the African situation in the global context;
  • Develop a multicultural and common understanding of security and defence issues in Africa, especially from a political-strategic perspective;
  • Recognize the importance of the African historical reality in the context of security and defence issues;
  • Characterize the global security environment and its impact on the security dynamics in Africa;
  • Understand the African geopolitical and geostrategic dynamics;
  • Characterize the main mechanisms for conflict prevention and management in Africa;
  • Recognize the role of international organizations in the African security dynamics;
  • Characterize the main factors associated with State-building processes in the African continent;
  • Consolidate the knowledge and skills acquired during the course through a case-study presentation.

<center> OTHER SPECIFICS </center>

  • The first edition of the African Studies Course was held in 2006; since then, the course has been held annually;
  • The course is held at the Institute of Higher Military Studies, in Lisbon. The body of lecturers includes acknowledged teachers and experts on several African studies fields;
  • The course may be attended by a maximum of 30 students/readers per edition;
  • The course duration is 10 working days. The course usually takes place in September.

Course Study plan overview

Course UnitsTE
History of Africa4
Global Security Context4
Geopolitics and strategy in Africa14
Conflict Prevention and Management in Africa7
International Organizations in the African security dynamics7
Other activities3
Study visits10