Public event

UNDP Report Briefing: Journey to Extremism in Africa

Frontline research on combating terrorism and radicalisation on the African continent

The Report "Journey to Extremism in Africa" was published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in September 2017. The 113 page report, based on a study by the UNDP's Regional Bureau for Africa, looks at drivers, incentives and tipping points for the recruitment for terrorist groups. For this ambitious project young men and women from 6 different African countries, who were and in some cases still are members of terrorists groups, were interviewed on various aspects such as family or economic background. Based on the collected responses, factors which might have facilitated radicalisation were identified. Remarkable in this publication is the use of a developmental approach in analyzing a security-related issue. Join us as we discuss how this report highlights the relevance of development cooperation for international security and the fight against violent extremism.


Lamin Momodou Manneh is Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since July 2017. Before joining the centre, he served as United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in Rwanda from 2012-2017.

Alexandra Scacco is a senior research scientist in the Institutions and Political Inequality unit at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Her work focuses on ethnic conflict and political violence, with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Norbert Völkl is a Lieutenant Colonel of the German Armed Forces. He served in Afghanistan in 2002 and was the chief of staff of the German contingent in Kosovo in 2011. In 2016 he led the contingent of EUTM, the EU’s training mission to Somalia, where he also acted as intelligence advisor.


Kerstin Leitner has worked for the United Nations for 30 years. Between 1975 and 2005 she was stationed amongst others in Africa, China, New York, and Geneva. Today she lives in Berlin and teaches at Potsdam University. She is a member of the United Nations Association of Germany and Transparency International.

Introductory remarks

Ekkehard Griep, Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors, United Nations Association of Germany


Julian Wucherpfennig is Assistant Professor of International Affairs and Security at the Hertie School. His research focuses on the strategic nature of political violence and conflict processes, especially ethnic civil war and terrorism.

In cooperation with the United Nations Association of Germany and part of the Hertie School frontline research on terrorism series.