Empowering Futures: KAIPTC Pioneers Course to Combat Violent Extremism Among Women and Youth in Nigeria

Participants at the VET training organized by the KAIPTC in Nigeria

Participants at the VET training organized by the KAIPTC in Nigeria

The Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, has stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to combatting violent extremism and terrorism (VET) in the West African sub-region.  

According to him, while security responses are vital, stakeholders in the peace architecture ought to also delve into the root causes of extremism and prevent the recruitment of women and youth.

Dr. Ochogwu stressed the need for the adoption of a more holistic approach by the players at the opening of a training programme organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with funding from the Norwegian government. The training is aimed at building the capacity of young people and women in tackling the challenges of violent extremism in Africa. 

The Women, Youth, Violent Extremism and Terrorism course was built on extensive research and consultations by KAIPTC with experts and stakeholders as well as studies conducted in Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria where terrorist groups have exploited grievances and poverty to recruit members.

Representatives from government agencies, women and youth groups, traditional institutions, faith-based organizations, and academic institutions attended the five-day programme.

“The experiences of other regions such as the Sahel emphasize the importance of avoiding heavy-handed tactics that can sow distrust within local communities, hence the need for stakeholders to work together to create a safer and more secure future for our nation and the entire West African region,” Dr. Ochogwu stressed. 

While commending KAIPTC and its partners for the dedicated efforts towards addressing VET, he urged participants to actively engage in the course, emphasizing the importance of their contributions in helping build a safer future. 


The Commandant of KAIPTC, Major General Richard Addo Gyane in his welcome remarks said that the training program is particularly crucial considering the alarming rise in violent extremism across West Africa’s coastal states.

The initiative, Major General Addo Gyane said, aligns with the KAIPTC’s strategic plan to promote gender equality and social inclusion for peace and stability.

Highlighting some statistics, he said terror attacks within the region increased by 99 percent with 53 percent related deaths in 2023 alone, and thus leaving women and youth, by the occurrence, becoming vulnerable to exploitation by these groups.

“Lessons learnt from countries like Mali and Burkina Faso, where terrorist organizations have thrived on grievances, inform the development of the training programme with a multi-faceted approach, addressing the root causes of radicalization, such as economic marginalization, political exclusion, and social injustice.” Major General Gyane said.

The Commandant also underscored the importance of making the programme adaptable and interactive by leveraging on technology and digital platforms to reach a broader audience in building community engagement and resilience which are key to preventing the spread of violent extremism.

By empowering women and youth, the KAIPTC, he said, contributes to achieving the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and specific UN Sustainable Development Goals related to gender equality, decent work, reduced inequalities, climate action, and peace, justice, and strong institutions.