2nd May 2023; His Excellency Mr. Karl Nehammer, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria has visited the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) as part of his maiden three-day official visit to Ghana from 24th – 26th April, 2023.
As the first Austrian Chancellor to visit Ghana, and therefore the KAIPTC, his visit has consolidated the near-decade fruitful relations between Austria and KAIPTC, which began in 2014. As part of the visit, the Chancellor planted a symbolic “tree of life” to signify the everlasting bond and partnership between the Austrian Government and the Centre.
Giving his address, HE Nehammer said the Austrian Armed Forces had a long-standing cooperation with the KAIPTC and had seconded an Officer to the Centre since 2014. He announced that the cooperation agreement with KAIPTC has been extended for five (5) more years to deepen the mutually beneficial relations that exist between the two parties.
He further announced the second edition of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa (KAAIA) scheduled for 2024, which was instituted through a collaboration between the Kofi Annan Foundation, the Austrian Development Agency, and the World Food Program Innovation Accelerator. The KAAIA is aligned to the legacy and vision of the late HE Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General, for a just and peaceful world. It focuses on contributing to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal “Good Health and Wellbeing” (SDG3), by identifying and supporting budding African social entrepreneurs who are deploying digital tools and solutions to enhance lives and livelihoods and the common good in Africa. The second edition of awards, he added, would focus on SDG2 – “Food Security and Zero Hunger”, adding that digital and innovative ideas were key to reducing poverty in Africa.
Mr Nehammer expressed delight over the quality of programmes and research projects KAIPTC delivers and noted that his government will continue to collaborate with the Centre.
He called for continuous engagement to identify possible areas of partnership and collaboration to help sustain the fruitful relationship that has existed between his Government and the Centre over the period.
Major General Richard Addo Gyane, who hosted the Federal Chancellor and his delegation, touted the achievements of the KAIPTC in fostering sustainable peace and security on the continent and the world at large.
He emphasised that the Centre had been championing research, policy engagement, training and skills development among others, in keeping with its mandate as a Centre of Excellence.
While acknowledging the contributions of the Austrian Government towards the successful execution of the Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa Core Course and the Political Advisors Course, Maj Gen Gyane said there was still room for further collaborations and support especially at a time when the Centre was entering a new strategic phase.
The Commandant of KAIPTC expressed his gratitude to His Excellency Karl Nehammer for visiting KAIPTC.
The Austrian – KAIPTC Cooperation
The Austrian – KAIPTC Cooperation started in 2014 and is currently in the fourth phase which ends in June 2024, and will be extended for another five (5) year period. The programmes under the co-operation consists of;
The Humanitarian Assistance Program which comprise three (3) Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa Core Course (HAWA CC) that is delivered bilingually (English/French) for 2 weeks per session; a week-long Training of Trainer (ToT) Course; a week-long Specialization Course on gender responsive climate action in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Risk Reduction; a 3-day Women Empowerment Module targeted at female professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and the delivery of Multiplier Modules in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria.
The aim is to strengthen capacities for effective disaster management and humanitarian crisis response in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The sponsors of the programme are Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Austrian Ministry of Defence (MoD), Austrian Centre for Peace (ACP)
The Political Adviser Course for Peace Support Operations in Africa (PolAd), another programme under the Austrian – KAIPTC Co-operation, is held once a year for two weeks and is sponsored by the Austrian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and KAIPTC. It is designed to train Political Advisors for UN Missions in Africa, AU and ECOWAS operations and missions and also targets senior personnel from African countries who work in the peace and security/crises sector, to equip them with relevant knowledge on the core tasks of Political Advisors.
Some significant achievements worth noting under the co-operation include the successful delivery of 11 HAWA CC’s; five (5) Train of Trainer Courses; 792 total trained participants both at KAIPTC and in other countries; two (2) Women Empowerment Modules, among others.