How we conduct ourselves


We are passionate about our continent, and empowering members of the African defence community, as well as those responsible for exercising oversight of Africa’s armed forces. AfroISME believes that the latter can only be achieved through the consistent dissemination of, and instruction on our values and ethical principles.
Our core values are:


While it is a fact that AfroISME is a chapter of the wider International Society for Military Ethics, we recognise that African militaries are confronted with unique ethical problems that are peculiar to the continent and that some of the problems are better understood within the cultural milieu of Africans. In view of this, the chapter intends to continue engaging in the discourses that constitute the bulwark of the problems of military ethics. At the same time, however, the society understands that the African cultural experience can contribute a unique perspective to these problems and this will be our unique contribution to military ethics. We also know that there are specific ethical problems that arise within the African military space which needs to be brought into the mainstream of ethical discourse. Thus, AfroISME is not merely a geographical gathering of scholars of Military ethics but also has a perspectival colouring that is both unique and diverse.


AfroISME recognises that its members, affiliates and participants at its engagements are autonomous persons who possess and may wish to express views that reflect their peculiar reasoning in an atmosphere of rigorous but respectful discourse. To this end, AfroISME academic engagements will operate under the Chatham House Rule, where “participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.” Participants will therefore be guaranteed the right to express their views without fear of intimidation or sanctions but with the full understanding that their views are not sacrosanct but open to challenge and critique.


AfroISME are cognisant of the fact that its members, affiliates and participants at its engagements may be current or former members of the armed forces of different countries and therefore have allegiances and responsibilities to such institutions. In view of this, AfroISME wishes to declare that is politically neutral and does not harbour and will not encourage any subversive or anarchic tendencies. Despite being a chapter of a global organisation, its views are neutral and independent of the views of other chapters. Its purpose is not to coerce or indoctrinate but rather to encourage the sharing of experiences and views regarding various ethical issues that arise within the military experience. It will not encourage the espousing of political views nor criticism of governments or military hierarchies.


Being quite aware of the preponderance of fake news within our information space, AfroISME will strive to ensure that information presented to its audiences are true and devoid of political or institutional colourings that may negatively influence the views of its audiences towards persons, institutions, political organizations or governments. Where special references are made to individuals or extant events, efforts will be made to ensure that such references do not insults or diminishes the stature of those mentioned in a way that may elicit conflicts or rancour but present such persons or scenarios as lessons that all can benefit from.


Membership of AfroISME is open to serving and retired military personnel, academics and independent scholars as well as other persons that are interested in Military ethics. Our primary focus is on the African continent but we welcome members, affiliates and participants from other parts of the world. To this end, AfroISMEwill strive to accommodate Francophone and Lusophone Africa in our activities and where possible, will provide contemporaneous translations or transcript of such activities to those whose language is different from the language of a particular activity.

Selflessness Much of the activities of the society are performed voluntarily by individuals and groups that are passionate about military ethics. While it welcomes sponsorship from individuals and groups, the society is not and will not be subservient to the interest or will of others. Those who wish to participate in our various activities or make use of our services are assured our unalloyed support and selfless service. They should also approach us with a view to contribute towards the greater good of all.


AfroISME will strive to ensure that everyone associated with the society, especially at the organizational level, are persons of integrity, honesty and competence. In the interim, such persons will be drawn from the membership of the society on the basis of good standing, character, and capacity. Members of our society are expected to project the right moral attitude both within the association and in other areas of their lives. This will ensure that the society is not tarred with the failings of individuals within its fold.


Internal democracy is a highly valued asset of the society and will be harnessed to manage the society once the interim structures have succeeded in putting the society on a sound footing. All members of the society will enjoy equal privileges and will have the opportunity to present their experiences to other members and have them learn from them. The society will hold regular conferences and webinars and as such welcomes the presentation of both academic papers on military ethics and operational reports on ethical issues that arise in practice.

These values are intended to guide our, and our stakeholders’ actions and decisions, while we work to achieve our goals.