"A state maintains a military to defend its borders, deter aggression, and fight and win its wars. These are missions normally associated with conventional force capabilities. Yet, many states are now more likely to call upon their militaries to conduct peace support operations than conventional combat operations. Over 100 countries provide uniformed personnel in support of 15 ongoing United Nations (UN) peace operations. Correspondingly, more and more nations train, resource, and equip their armed forces to achieve proficiency in the unique military skillset required for a peacekeeping environment. This is particularly true in Africa. Not only do 78 percent of all UN peacekeepers currently serve on the African continent, but nearly half of all uniformed peacekeepers are African. Over 60,000 uniformed personnel from 39 different African countries serve in peace operations worldwide. This preeminence of African nations among troop contributing countries (TCCs) to peace operations is understandable. Since most peace operations occur on the African continent, it is in African states' regional security interests to participate, stabilize, and help shape a postconflict environment. […] Furthermore, external actors (i.e., Western nations) perceive a comparative advantage in offering training and equipment to African governments rather than deploying their own troops to a crisis area. Provision of training and equipment is not only viewed as a relatively low-cost endeavor to address an emergent or existing security crisis, but it likewise strengthens security cooperation relationships with African partners. Hence, there are shared interests among all parties in creating and enhancing the capability of African governments to conduct peace operations."
Africa Security Brief No. 27
National Defense University - Africa Center for Strategic Studies: http://africacenter.org/