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In recent years, African leaders have aggressively sought to strengthen their regional security structures while simultaneously attempting to democratise. Although they recognise that African regional organisations will need to assume a greater role in tackling Africa's security problems, the challenges posed by on-going democratisation efforts have had a visible impact on the effectiveness of some regional organisations. This article examines the challenges that democratisation poses to regional collective security arrangements in Africa, with specific reference to ECOWAS and SADC. It argues that whilst the inclination to democratise has influenced the establishment of new collective security structures, the superficial nature of the changes have prevented the gains at the structural level to be translated to meaningful practice on the ground. Nevertheless, some progress has been made.