Soft Power in Countering Extremism from the Horn of Africa to the Western Sahel

The rise of radical Islamism and its ideological force have migrated from Somalia in the early 1990s westward through the northern part of Africa known as the Sahel. Crises related to religious extremism, including jihadism and the application of Shar'ia law, have spread rapidly from Somalia to Kenya and across the Sahel to Nigeria, Mali and Algeria with evidence of propagating radicalizing even diaspora populations living in the West.

The panelists, all experts in the role of communication and soft power in countering radicalization, discussed and debated the strategic influence of Western powers, in particular the US and the UK, in changing the narrative toward stability, tolerance, and democratization.

About the Panelists

Sir Robert Fry is chairman of Albany Associates and former Deputy Commanding General of Coalition Forces in Iraq of the Royal Marines. He is involved in a number of boards and advisory roles to companies in the security and banking sectors throughout Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Currently, he is a visiting professor at Reading University and a visiting fellow at Oxford University.

Simon Haselock is co-founder and chief operating officer of Albany Associates. From 1995-96, he served as the NATO spokesman in Sarajevo and later as Media Commissioner in Kosovo. He went on to lead the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for Media Development in Iraq.

About Albany Associates

Established in 2004, Albany Associates is a full-service communications firm based in London. Its services include strategy, media development, comprehensive communication, and media training. Learn more at