The Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) is an intergovernmental organization established in June 2005.

RECSA’s Mission: To coordinate action against Small Arms and Light Weapons proliferation in the great lakes region and horn of Africa .

RECSA’s Vision: A safe and secure sub-region in a peaceful continent free from arms proliferation.

RECSA’s Values: 

  • Equal treatment to all
  • Integrity
  • Inclusiveness
  • Gender sensitive

Initially known as the Nairobi Secretariat, RECSA was set up to coordinate the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of the Proliferation Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa. The Nairobi Declaration was signed on 15th March 2000 by 10 countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The Declaration mandated the Nairobi Secretariat to coordinate efforts by National Focal Points in the Great Lakes Region and Horn of Africa to prevent, combat and eradicate stockpiling and illicit trafficking in SALW.

The 10 countries were joined by Seychelles in signing the legally binding Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of SALW in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States in April 2004. Somalia later joined the initiative. Currently RECSA has 15 Member States after the admission into membership of the Republic of Congo in 2009 and the Central African Republic and the Republic of South Sudan in 2011. RECSA is coordinating national efforts in its Member States to implement the Protocol.

RECSA Member States are committed to fighting the proliferation and trafficking of illicit SALW in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa by implementing the Nairobi Declaration and the Nairobi Protocol. By so doing they contribute to increasing prospects for sustainable development in the region.

With support from various development partners (the European Union, US Government, Government of Japan) and the RECSA Member States, the Secretariat implements its work along three main result areas/pillars (RECSA Strategy 2009 – 2014): 

  • Institutional Development
  • Stockpile Management
  • Generation and Provision of Information

RECSA’s top organs are the Council of Ministers and the Technical Advisory Committee.

Member States