In this article, we analyse the factors underpinning the shift towards hybrid security governance in Africa. Extant scholarship largely attributes this shift to broader global processes, such as histories of colonialism, neoliberalism and transformations in global governance, which have served to legitimize the role of private authority in security provision around sites of resource extraction. Our analysis seeks to understand the relative and relational influence of power and rules in international politics by offering empirical insights about what hybrid security arrangements look like ‘on the ground’. Drawing upon recently conducted fieldwork in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana, we examine how hybrid security arrangements affect the lives of those living near sites of natural resource extraction. Our analyses suggest that although hybrid security has emerged as the leading approach to security governance, this approach to security does not uniformly involve or serve the interests of all stakeholders. Rather, we find that hybrid security arrangements aid the security of extractive operations—securing investments in both physical and human capital—while sometimes undermining the security of nearby communities.