7th October, 2021: At a time when the security concerns in the West African region remains a significant concern to all actors, the Government of Denmark, under the Danish development and humanitarian strategy “The World 2030”, is working with several institutions to promote the peace, stability and development in the region and beyond.
Tom Nørring, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo
One of several important initiatives being funded by the Government of Denmark is the ‘Promoting peace and security in West Africa’ project (2021 – 2022), which is implemented by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. The project has three thematic areas; Women, peace and security, Conflict prevention and Responsibility to Protect.
Under the conflict prevention theme, KAIPTC recently held a regional policy workshop in Sierra Leone to look at best approaches to build resilient infrastructures for peace to prevent conflict in West Africa. It hosted participants from Ghana, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, ECOWAS and CSOs in Sierra Leone.
Speaking at the workshop, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea & Togo, H.E. Tom Norring, noted that “current developments in the ECOWAS region has only accentuated the need for greater focus on conflict prevention and peaceful solutions”. He cited increases in terrorist activities, radicalization, organized crime and violent conflicts between different populations, particularly in the Sahel, adding that the gradual spread to the West African Coastal states, highlights the truth that conflict and violence is no respecter of borders.
He further added that, given the spreading insecurities in the region, it was encouraging and promising to witness the participation of five (5) countries in the workshop, in support of the goal to implement conflict prevention structures on a national level, adding that “securing peace is highly dependent on national frameworks”.
The Ambassador affirmed his Government’s commitment to a better and balanced world, announcing that in September 2021, the ‘Danish Strategy for Development Co-operation, titled ‘The world we share’ was launched. The strategy has two overarching ambitions which guides Denmark’s engagement with the world. The first, he said ‘is to lead the fight to combat climate change and restore balance to the planet. The other is the ambition to give hope to people in need’. In doing so – giving hope to people in need – the commitment to supporting conflict prevention, peace and stabilization efforts is a key priority. Without it, he said, other efforts will be of little value.
The Commandant of KAIPTC, Maj Gen Ofori, officially opened the workshop. In his remarks, he noted that, while ECOWAS had demonstrated leadership by creating the regional mechanisms for conflict prevention, member states ought to leverage these mechanisms to establish an institutionalized approach to conflict transformation and building resilience. He added that the workshop, as well the findings of the country reports generated from the four-country study conducted between March and April 2021, will contribute to inform policy on the implementation of national infrastructure for peace in the region”. Dr. Onyinye Onwuka, Head of Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs, ECOWAS Commission, in her goodwill message, noted that focus of the workshop was not only timely but apt, given the growing challenges socio-political and security environment in the region which placed on urgent demand for collective reflection on practical strategies to strengthen internal mechanisms for conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution.
Some participants shared the benefits and value they received from the workshop. Mohamed Sheik Kargbo, a Sierra Leonean and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs noted that ‘the policy workshop is very relevant to my work as one coming from the security sector, giving the challenges to sustaining peace in my country after the civil war. The facilitators were superb. The outcomes of the workshop will definitely inform future policies and strategies in my ministry”. Ms. Salama Njie, who is the National Network Coordinator for the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in The Gambia, also said; ‘indeed an excellent and well-coordinated workshop. It is also very pertinent and timely as my organization, WANEP is amongst those leading the Infrastructure for Peace (I4P) process in The Gambia. The lessons learned and networking will indeed help in shaping our own I4P. Both the facilitators and the identified themes were apt.”
Under the ongoing ‘Promoting peace and security in West Africa’ project, other workshops and engagements have been held in The Gambia and series of workshops and capacity building sessions will be held in the coming months for stakeholders in Ghana and across the sub-region.
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: @KaiptcGh and Instagram: @kaiptc. 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 recognized institution and has to date trained and tutored over 25,207 participants and students since its inception.
KAIPTC is a gender-sensitive organization 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.