Policeman, Close Protection Operator and Boxing Fighter: Alasan Bah and the Private Security Field in Malawi.
African states have always been very dynamic and rather complex areas of the world due to social and political instability. Now, the situation is changing again and a new balance finally seems possible.
In this small country of the western African coast the people have always been well known for their politeness and kindness, this is why oftentimes the country is called “the smiling coast”. But even in a place where everybody smiles, danger can exist and some people can become targets if not protected.
In these scenarios we find people like Alasan Bah, a security professional that we have interviewed few days ago.
Let’s hear together what Mr. Bah told us about his job.
- Can you tell us something about your background? What led you where you are now?
I am a young police officer (31 years old) in a small town situated in the south of Banjul. I’m studying “security and community studies” at the university and next year I will end my higher national diploma.
In these last years I’ve been working for several security agencies as a close protection operator. Working as a CPO has given me a good technical background that is normally quite underestimated even if it covers a crucial role when actually deployed.
I have a good background in boxing and this truly helps me at a physical level, being fit in my job is very important. Sometimes a lot of the prevention depends on our physical preparation and tactical education. Most of the times, the mistakes that we make as operators actually depend on our lack of training, in my future job I would like to open my own activity and train my men well so that these mistakes will become less and less common in our sector.
- Is private security an important sector in your country?
I can say that, even just two years ago the sector of private security and close protection was practically not recognized in Gambia. Now, along with the political improvements in the country, there is a new demand of private security guard, close protection operators, intelligence service and similar figures.
This depends mostly on two main factors: first of all, legally, the framework of the security jobs is evolving and getting similar to the situation of other countries, secondly, the fear of eventual repercussions of the previous instability is bringing out V.I.Ps, politicians and entrepreneurs to resort to the private security sector as a mean of protection.
While the police and the army reorganize the social and institutional stability in the cities, the private sector is viewed to be the best actor to treat with the demands of private citizens who shall fell the need to be protected due to their specific professional or daily conditions.
- Which are the main projects you have in mind at the moment?
Well, I think it’s quite clear from my previous words that I have the intention to
start my own security business, in particular I’m referring to a close protection based service for private businessmen who need to be protected and need operators who escort them during their journeys through the country or other African countries. This idea is mainly about my business but I’m also launching a social impact based project regarding the training of prisoners currently in jail. Not only close protection is in my interest but also global security in big social events such as concerts and large scale social events.
We have observed that, even if globally the situation is improving positively, the prisoners tend to develop freedom restriction related diseases such diabetes and obesity. With our programs we train them physically and mentally in order to make them come out of prison as positive members of our society and not as deadweights of the economical system. Also from a social point of view I think that organizing a project with the prisoners is a great way to give something back to our national society.
Everybody deserves a second chance and we are here to help these people to gain their place back to dignity.
For any project you need effort and hard work but I personally have a motto that I constantly repeat to myself:
“Dreams don’t lie, if you work hard you’ll achieve what you want”.
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