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In view of their long standing cooperation in law enforcement and their mutual interest in combating transnational crime, the United States and Botswana governments agreed to establish an International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) on July 24, 2000. The purpose of this ILEA was, and continues to be, to provide training for middle managers from eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Through strengthened international cooperation against crime, the ILEAs' mission is to buttress democratic governance through the rule of law; enhance the functioning of free markets through improved legislation and law enforcement; and increase social, political, and economic stability by combating narcotics trafficking and crime.
1. To support criminal justice institution-building in Africa, with an emphasis on the rule of law, democratization and the building of law enforcement capacity.
2. To strengthen cooperation among countries in Africa to address problems of narcotics and crime.
3. To provide quality training and institution-building assistance to combat transnational crimes including terrorism, narcotics trafficking, financial crimes, cyber-crime, document fraud, illegal firearms trafficking and migrant smuggling.
4. To strengthen cooperation among the law enforcement communities of Botswana, the United States, other African countries and elsewhere.
Establishing an ILEA in South Africa was initially discussed at the ILEA Policy Board meeting in August of 1998. Following a careful assessment of South Africa and the additional four countries in consideration, Botswana was eventually chosen as the site for the ILEA in Africa. The bilateral agreement to establish the ILEA in Botswana was signed July 24, 2000. The International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) Gaborone has come a long way since its establishment. Less than a year after the bi-lateral agreement was signed, the ILEA provided trainings for law enforcement and criminal justice managers from countries that are members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in April of 2001. At this time, local conference facilities were used while the ILEA campus was under construction in nearby Otse. The President of Botswana, His Excellency Festus Mogae, joined by United States Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Joseph Huggins, officially opened the $7.2 million state-of-the-art ILEA campus on March 15, 2003 before an international crowd of regional law enforcement leaders. Since its inception, the ILEA has trained over 4,500 law enforcement officials from 34 different African countries. The ILEA has incrementally expanded participation beyond Southern Africa by including many regions of the continent. A further expansion of the ILEA in September of 2005 allowed the academy to host participants from several west and central African countries.
The ILEA is particularly proud of its innovative partnerships in collaborating with such organizations as the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), East and Southern African Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC), Mauritius, USAID, and Botswana Wildlife and National Parks (WNP). The ILEA conducts several specialized courses that cover topics including targeting financial and computer crimes, weapons of mass destruction, airport and land/border interdiction, fraudulent documents, passport fraud, counter-terrorism, crime scene investigation, arms trafficking, anti-poaching priorities, money laundering, narcotics, trafficking in persons, and policing gender based violence.