In March 2021, Maj Gen Francis Ofori, Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) hosted General Francis A. Behanzin, Commissioner Political Affairs, Peace and Security at the ECOWAS Commission, Col Souleymane Sangare, Commandant of L’École de Maintien de la Paix Alioune Blondin Beye (EMP-ABB) located in Mali and Air Cdre Michael Ekwueme, Representative of the Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC) located in Nigeria, for a two-day meeting of the Commandants of ECOWAS Training Centres of Excellence. The three Centres – KAIPTC, EMP-ABB and the NDC are ECOWAS-designated Training Centres of Excellence (TCEs) in West Africa.
Other attendees at the opening ceremony were Ambassador Babagana Wakil, ECOWAS Representative to Ghana and staff of ECOWAS and KAIPTC. Welcoming the guests to Accra and to the KAIPTC, Maj Ofori expressed his delight over the fruition of the meeting, after a couple of postponements, partly due to the pandemic. Noting also that the meeting was his first since he took office as Commandant, he stated his great expectations for the occasion.
Taking his turn after the Commandant spoke, Ambassador Wakil noted that the sustenance of peace and security on the continent was critical for the attainment of the ECOWAS integration agenda. He cited the MoU among the TCEs and the ECOWAS, and highlighted its continued relevance in offering a vital platform for consistent training and research in pursuit of the goal for a peaceful and prosperous region. Referring to the maiden edition of KAIPTC’s Stakeholder Dialogue Series, he congratulated the KAIPTC for the bold steps it took in addressing the captains of industry and corporate players on their respective roles in achieving peace and security in the sub-region under the platform of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA).
On his part, General Francis Behanzin thanked all the Commandants for attending the meeting in-person, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. He highlighted that the meeting provided ECOWAS and the TCEs the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and the technical co-operation between the ECOWAS Commission and the TCEs in the area of training development, taking into consideration the evolving peace and security situation in the region.
He pointed out that the focus of the meeting was to review the status of implementation of recommendations of the last meeting held in September 2018, the institutional implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for training and research and a discussion on the way forward for ECOWAS. Additionally, the meeting, he said, will focus on the training needs assessment for EPSAO, discussion on strengthening collaboration between in ECOWAS and the TCEs, adding that the meeting was happening within the context of regional peace and security which was characterized by transnational organized crime, maritime insecurity, political uncertainties, terrorism and small arms and light weapons among others.
To this end, the training conducted in the respective Centres of Excellence is research-driven and needs-based, to meet the training requirement of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), he noted. He shared that a number of activities planned to be carried out with the TCEs would be funded through the ECOWAS Peace and security Architecture Operation (EPSAO) project with support from the European Union and the Government of Germany.
The Commandants of ECOWAS Training Centres of Excellence meeting is held periodically to strengthen co-operation between the ECOWAS and the TCEs, and to harmonize strategic activities in the areas of training, research, and joint engagements in support of the mandate of ECOWAS to ensure peace and security in the sub-region.
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.