27th November 2019: Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr. Kofi Koduah Sarpong, has challenged graduates of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) to apply skills they have acquired to address security challenges facing the continent. Speaking as the Special Guest of Honour at KAIPTC’s joint graduation ceremony for students of the Masters’ programme in Conflict, Gender, Peace, Security held on 27thNovember 2019, he said that Africa was grappling with diversity of security challenges, ranging from political instability to economic stagnation, ecological degradation to gross and fundamental human rights violations. He also noted with concern that the danger posed by violent extremism and radicalisation – which has recorded high incidents in neighbouring countries in recent times – has far-reaching repercussions for countries in the sub-region. Focusing on Ghana, he said, “The phenomenon of political vigilantism has increasingly become a major source of threat to our fledgling democracy, with grave implications for the economy.”
With these myriads of insecurities unsettling the region exacerbated by cyber-attacks, and election violence, Dr. Sarpong urged the graduates to apply the skills they have learnt to resolve these challenges. “I have no doubt in my mind that your excellent lecturers here at KAIPTC have adequately equipped you with the knowledge and competences that will enable you to address the identified threats for which society urgently seeks to prevent or address if the manifest,” he said.
The joint graduation ceremony was held for students in the 2019 class of the Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security, Master of Arts in Gender, Peace and Security, Executive Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security, and the Weekend Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security.
Moving on to talk about conflict in other spaces, Dr. Sarpong noted that conflicts in the corporate world was on the rise, thereby negatively impacting efficiency, productivity and profitability. He proposed that KAIPTC should consider offering Certificate, Diploma or MA Courses in Corporate Conflict/Insecurity to support organisations to manage conflicts to remain viable in a highly competitive corporate world.
He also announced plans to support and partner KAIPTC in areas of research and infrastructure, and further invited students from KAIPTC to access GNPC scholarships for postgraduate studies.
In his welcome address, the Commandant of KAIPTC, Major General Francis Ofori emphasised, “it is imperative to remember that your degree, like others, can be described as a paper qualification. The real value lies in how you apply the knowledge and training you have received to address complex societal problems.” Major General Francis Ofori stressed the fact that KAIPTC has “adopted a demand-driven approach which is a 360-degree change in the way we operate.” The Commandant added, “At all levels of the organisation, we are moving out to engage with our stakeholders to determine their needs and to work with them to develop and deliver products and services that meet those needs.”
The CEO of Special Ice Investments, Dr. Ernest Ofori Sarpong was the Special Guest Speaker. As a renowned entrepreneur, he shared his expectations for the graduates, noting that the private sector was looking for strategic thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators. He cited cyber threats and their potential to cripple organisations, and urged the graduates to support the private sector with security and conflict resolution proposals and plans to secure their assets and interests to enable them to operate unimpeded.
In attendance were the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, members of the Diplomatic Corps, serving and retired officers of the Ghana Armed Forces, academia and some invited dignitaries from Corporate Ghana.
Professor Yankah reiterated the need for Civil Society to spearhead efforts in ensuring the sustenance of peace and security. He said noted that civilians are often the greatest victims in the periods of strife and crises. “For as has been demonstrated time and again in Africa here, and in parts of the world, it is often not the winning of war that is important. The main challenge has been how to win peace.” The Minister admonished graduating students to take up critical roles to ensure a peaceful and secured society. “With a masters’ degree, you are now a master unto yourself, licensed to enlist and train other apprentices, training apprentices to maturity and independence.”
In all, 120 students graduated. The overall best students were Mr. Shina Fatai Alege, Miss Beatrice Baiden, Mr. Jude Funhwi and Miss Ruth Frimpong of the MA in Conflict, Peace and Security, Gender, Peace and Security, Executive MA in Conflict Peace and Security and the Weekend MA Class for Conflict, Peace and Security programmes respectively. Giving the valedictory speech on behalf of the four cohorts, she expressed gratitude to KAIPTC for nurturing their skills and building their capacity in the respective areas of study. She announced their preparedness to be peacebuilders and advocates for human rights and justice.
For further information, please contact the Corporate Affairs Unit of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) on +233302-718200 ext 1104/1203 or +233 550 303030. You can find the KAIPTC on Facebook and twitter as: @Kaiptcgh. You can further find out more about the KAIPTC on our website: www.kaiptc.org.
About the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre:
The Ghana Ministry of Defence (MoD) established the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in 1998 and commissioned it in 2004. The purpose was to build upon and share Ghana’s five decades of internationally acclaimed experience and competence in peace operations with other states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and the rest of Africa. This was in recognition of the need for training military, police and civilian men and women to meet the changing demands of multidimensional peace operations. The Centre is one of the three (3) Peacekeeping Training Centres of Excellence mandated by the ECOWAS to offer training in peacekeeping and peace support operations (PSO) in Africa.
The Centre delivers training courses in three thematic areas; Peace Support Operations, Conflict Management and Peace and Security Studies and also runs Masters and PhD programmes in same. The KAIPTC has a world-class research department that undertakes research in the thematic areas in Peace and Security. Located in Accra, Ghana, the KAIPTC is an internationally recognised institution and has to date trained and tutored over 21, 496 participants and students since its inception.
KAIPTC is a gender-sensitive organisation and committed to gender equality. Following the launch of its gender policy in 2014, the Centre has mainstreamed gender into its policies and programmes, and integrates same in its focal areas, namely training, research and postgraduate education. The Centre has developed a Sexual Harassment policy and fully oriented employees on same. It has also provided a Nursing and Childcare Centre and instituted a paternity leave policy, all with the aim to create a conducive work environment at KAIPTC.