Accra, 28th Oct: The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), under the auspices of the Government of Denmark, has successfully launched the maritime pilot course, Developing Maritime Security Culture in the Gulf of Guinea, in Ghana’s maritime epicenter, Takoradi. The timeliness of this course cannot be overemphasized as accumulating numbers of maritime security incidences targeting national, regional and international shipping in the Gulf of Guinea keep occurring.
This pilot course is the first of the capacity-building efforts of the three-year project on enhancing regional research, capacity building and convening of stakeholders towards a safer maritime domain in the Gulf of Guinea.
Takoradi, as the prime location for this historic event, is consummate for these reasons: It accommodates the Western Naval Command, home of the Ghana Navy, as well as the headquarters of the Ghana Police Marine Unit and key maritime institutions. The twin-city is also home to many oil companies. Notwithstanding, Takoradi and its environs have had its fair share of maritime challenges ranging from piracy & armed robbery at sea, Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, human smuggling/migrant smuggling, illegal bunkering, among others.
In attendance was Cdre Albert Bentil Addison (Rtd), Former Deputy Commandant of the KAIPTC, who acknowledged the menacing state of the Gulf of Guinea. Recounting the lessons history teaches he intimated that” the fight at sea cannot be won singlehandedly by any nation or institution. It takes effective collaboration, cooperation, coordination and capacity building, amongst the littoral nations. And more importantly key maritime institutions of which most are represented here”.
Mr. Thomas Raahauge Norup, representing the Ambassador Designate of Denmark to Ghana, His Excellency Mr. Tom Nørring, noted the several engagements with a variety of stakeholders in both the Economic Community in Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries over the past two years, leading to the development of the course. The objective of the course, he stated “is to build on the existing expertise of participants who are within the field of maritime security and also add on the newest research on maritime security trends”. He added; “this includes efforts being put into the fight of maritime offences and equally important, to build a strong personal and professional network across agencies”, emphasizing that good interagency collaboration stands on the fundamental quality of trust.
“This project falls within our vision and mission as it seeks to promote a safer maritime domain in the Gulf of Guinea through the development of knowledge-based-research products; institutionalizing a convening platform for dialogue among stakeholders and developing the capacity of maritime practitioners in the Gulf of Guinea”, said Maj Gen Francis Ofori, the Commandant of the KAIPTC.
The KAIPTC, as one of the three ECOWAS Centres of Excellence, continues to provide globally recognized capacity for all actors on African peace and security through training, education, research, and policy dialogues to foster peace and stability in Africa.
For further information, please contact the Corporate Affairs Unit of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) on +233 302 718200 ext 1104/1203. You can find the KAIPTC on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as: @Kaiptcgh and on instagram @Kaiptc. You can further find out more about the KAIPTC on our website: www.kaiptc.org.
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 21, 496 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.