In 2016, Albany was contracted by the US State Department Counterterrorism Bureau to investigate the formation and operationalisation of an East Africa Centre of Excellence in Counter Violent Extremism. This required creating an infrastructure and strategy for the regional sharing of good practices and lessons learnt in preventing and countering violent extremism and bringing together actors involved in P/CVE work in the region, to ensure an inclusive and holistic approach. In collaboration with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), this would eventually lead to the IGAD Centre of Excellence in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism – the ICEPCVE.
To begin this process, Albany was careful to lay the foundations for a sustainable and vibrant centre of excellence. To this end, we developed and carried out a legal framework, administrative process, and comprehensive financing structure, so that the centre could hit the ground running. With this in place, Albany carried out a wide range of kick-starter activities; researching, networking and training, with the best and brightest minds and organisations in East African P/CVE. We then brought these diverse stakeholders together and channelled their experience and knowledge towards a series of strategic objectives and deliverables, across complex and dynamic issues.
After 14 months, Albany successfully set up a regional Centre which serves the Eastern Africa region, institutionalizing good practices on P/CVE. In particular, Albany formed a multi-lingual and multi-media platform that serves as a knowledge base for all actors and stakeholders working on P/CVE. This was supported by alternative narrative campaigns and the creation of a Civil Society, so the Centre was representing the voices and experiences of grassroot actors across the region. The centre is thriving to this day, ensuring international best practice and innovation, in this volatile region of the world.