Accra, March, 2021: Gender Advisors from across Africa gathered at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre in March 2020 to build capacity in support of gender mainstreaming in their organisations.
Organised by KAIPTC in collaboration with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) based in Sweden and the Norwegian Government, the Gender Advisors course is aimed at providing participants with the knowledge, practical tools and skills that will enhance their ability to support gender mainstreaming in organisations.
The course is designed to meet the diverse needs of a Gender Adviser. It builds on FBA’s global gender adviser course, developed after an extensive training needs assessment sent out to former and current gender advisers, focusing on identifying actual activities/responsibilities of persons in a gender advising position and what they consider to be the key skills and areas of knowledge required. Based on this, KAIPTC and FBA adjusted the course to fit the regional context.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the week-long training programme, the Deputy Commandant of KAIPTC, Air Commodore George Arko-Dadzie, said the course was in fulfilment of a strategic objective of the Centre to use its Women, Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) to empower those championing the cause of Women, Peace and Security on the continent.
“The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda is core to the Centre’s trainings and it is the third pillar of our five-year strategic plan (2019 – 2023). In this pillar, the Centre is focused on building African capacities to fully implement the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and follow-up Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security in the context of Africa,” he said.
For that purpose, the WPSI identified the need to equip personnel leading the WPS agenda in capacities as Gender Advisors and Gender Focal Persons with the skills and tools to enhance their effectiveness in their unique and critical roles.
With the clarion call on the world to create opportunities for both men and women as the latter is left to a disadvantage, world leaders are turning to gender mainstreaming as a strategy for promoting gender equality ever since it was first introduced at the 1985 Nairobi World Conference on Women.
Having suffered several postponements as COVID-19 ravaged the world and forced almost every country into isolation, the course was being delivered using virtual and on-site facilitators. Considering the difficulties posed by the pandemic and its impact on the rescheduling, the Deputy Commandant commended the participants for their continuous interest in the course. He said; “We are further encouraged by your effort and courage to travel long distances in this very uncertain time as the world continues to battle with the pandemic”, noting that it “emphasise(s) the relevance of the course to the realisation of the WPS Agenda on the continent. The KAIPTC remains committed not only to your development, but also to your safety. Let us all do well to adhere to all stipulated COVID-19 protocols,” he added.
Air Commodore Arko-Dadzie paid glowing tributes to the Norwegian Government and the FBA for the partnerships that is pushing the KAIPTC to deliver on its mandate and looked forward to further collations in the future.
When she took her turn, a Senior Specialist of the FBA, Ms. Sara Lindvall, said the course provided a platform for gender experts across the continent to gather and discuss ways and means of achieving the goal of gender equality, share experiences while at the same time imbibing the FBA’s years of experience in the gender mainstreaming space.
The FBA course has been run for years in Sweden; the Academy thought it wise to bring it to the doorstep of the people it worked with, as a part of the Scandinavian country’s strategy for its African partners, including the African Union and ECOWAS.
She applauded the enthusiasm of the participants in spite of the several times the course had to be postponed.
On his part, the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Gunnar Andreas Holm, acknowledged the importance of the course, saying gender equality and peace and security are so intrinsically linked. He noted that “We have always known that these are issues that need to be raised, discussed and developed time and time again. That is why the training programme is so important” to break down the walls of gender insensitivity.
With Norway taking a seat at the UN Security Council, the Ambassador said the Norwegian Government is deeply committed to promoting peace and security, and empowering actors and partners such as the KAIPTC to fulfil their mandates.
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.