International Law Enforcement Academy Botswana

James Feldkamp

February 8, 2023

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The international law enforcement academy Botswana aims to train African police officers to strengthen democracy and the rule of law. The ILEA also fosters international cooperation against transnational organized crime.

ILEA operations are coordinated through bilateral agreements between the US Embassy in the host country and a Joint Oversight Committee of both governments. The committee meets twice a year to discuss the policies and operations of the ILEA.


ILEA-South was established to train African law enforcement officers to foster international cooperation and police collaboration against transnational organized crime. It is run by a managing director who the government of Botswana funds.

The academy offers a six-week Law Enforcement Management Development Program (LEMDP) course. It is taught by subject matter experts and divided into segments.

This executive course is designed to teach delegates how to lead change and policy and critical thinking skills that are vital when taking on leadership positions. The curriculum covers various topics, including criminal justice, investigations, and prosecuting wildlife criminals.

Despite claims that the academy helps increase the efficiency of police forces and reduces corruption, many critics worry that human rights abusers will be trained, as was the case with the School of the Americas. This may be especially true in light of US anti-narcotics policies, which have a long record of militarization and abusive police practices in Latin America.


Gaborone’s International Law Enforcement Academy trains police in African nations to enhance their criminal justice systems. It prioritizes democratic rule, police reform, and regional agency cooperation.

Botswana founded the academy in 2000 to strengthen international law enforcement and fight transnational organized crime. It operates under a managing director and is financed by the government of Botswana.

ILEA Gaborone offers courses in forensics, primary case management, counterterrorism, supervisory police training, narcotics identification and evidence handling, customs interdiction, document fraud, illegal immigration, and public corruption. It also provides hands-on training to police officers.

The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has worked with ILEA Gaborone since 2002 to train conservation law enforcement personnel yearly. The courses cover surveillance, evidence collection and preservation, identifying smuggling indicators, and interviewing techniques.

In addition, a team of Service subject matter experts conducts several virtual pieces of training on wildlife trafficking investigations. These courses are tailored to the needs of various positions, including rangers, officers, inspectors and investigators who fight wildlife trafficking.


The international law enforcement academy Budapest (ILEA-Budapest) specializes in teaching leadership and investigative techniques to police managers from Central and Eastern Europe. ILEA Budapest offers a six-week core course, specialized training courses and regional seminars that cover topics such as transnational crime, financial crimes and counterterrorism.

Since its establishment in 1995, ILEA Budapest has trained more than 24,000 professionals in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and North Africa. It supports the embassy’s mission of developing global relationships between US law enforcement officials and their counterparts worldwide, fostering relationships that advance US interests in combating terrorism and international drug trafficking, and strengthening social, political and economic stability.

ILEA Budapest is operated by an American director supported by a Hungarian administrator. The ILEA operates based on a bilateral agreement between Hungary and the United States. The Hungarian Director keeps daily contact with the Academy, and he is responsible for fulfilling all the obligations set down in the Bilateral Agreement.

ILEA-New Mexico

ILEA-New Mexico is the United States Department of State’s advanced training academy for international law enforcement professionals. It provides senior-level academic instruction on the latest law enforcement and criminal justice techniques, equipping foreign law enforcement officials with the skills and knowledge they need to investigate and combat crime in their countries.

In addition, ILEA-New Mexico offers cultural excursions and unique activities that enhance the experience of all training participants. These include visits to local communities, museums and historical sites.

The Academy also offers training in several areas, including transnational crime and wildlife trafficking. For example, one of the Academy’s wildlife investigative courses is taught by Gladys Koti, a Ugandan native with several certificates for training in animal law and trafficking issues.

The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) launched a Professional Community (PC) to ensure that Academy graduates had the tools and ongoing support they needed to leverage their new knowledge. This online portal allowed participants to connect with and engage with international experts, partner organizations and other stakeholders as part of their in-person course, forums and workshops.