The United States invests in conventional weapons destruction in Africa to foster lasting peace, security, and prosperity. Explosive hazards, or even the suspected presence of them, hinder travel to and from schools and water sources, and limit local agricultural growth and economic development. Additionally, poorly-secured state-controlled stockpiles of small arms and light weapons may threaten civilians and fuel violence if acquired by terrorists, transnational criminal organizations, and other destabilizing actors. Demining and explosive ordnance risk education programs protect local communities, strengthen food security, and facilitate economic development, while also advancing critical climate and conservation priorities. Programs with partner countries across Africa reduce the availability of small arms and light weapons, ammunition, and improvised explosive device components used by extremist groups, while increasing the operational effectiveness and accountability of security forces. These initiatives help partner governments improve security sector governance, enhance accountability, and prevent munitions from being lost or stolen.
Since 1993, the United States has provided more than $565 million to support conventional weapons destruction programs throughout Africa to return previously contaminated land to safe and prosperous use, prevent the illicit diversion of small arms and light weapons, and support government efforts to secure their stockpiles. This assistance resulted in the following achievements in fiscal year 2022:
- 5,327,460 square meters (1,316 acres) of land was safely returned to communities
- 11,522 landmines were destroyed
- 5,217 explosive remnants of war were destroyed
- 75 obsolete or unserviceable man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), anti-tank guided missiles, or components were destroyed
- 1,180 explosive ordnance disposal callouts were conducted in response to urgent requests for unexploded ordnance to be investigated and rendered safe
- 54,466 individuals received explosive ordnance risk education
- 1,141 obsolete or unserviceable small arms and light weapons were destroyed
- 185 metric tons of unserviceable ammunition were destroyed
- 46 weapons storage facilities were built or rehabilitated
- 349 personnel were trained in physical security and stockpile management
- 1,124 survivors of explosive ordnance received medical or psychological support
The United States is the world’s leading financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction, providing more than $4.6 billion in assistance to more than 120 countries and areas since 1993. For more information on U.S. humanitarian demining and conventional weapons destruction programs, see the latest edition of our annual report, To Walk the Earth in Safety.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter @StateDeptPM.