A total of 89 students graduated from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in a joint graduation ceremony held for students in the 2015/2016 classes of the Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security, Master of Arts in Gender, Peace and Security, and the Executive Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security.
The ceremony which was filled with pomp and pageantry, was graced by the Honourable Minister for Defence, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the KAIPTC Governing Board, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Generals and Senior Officers of the Ghana Armed Forces, academia and some invited dignitaries.
Addressing the elated graduates, the Executive Director of the KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Santrofi Evans, emphasized the fact that the KAIPTC was on the right path to realizing its vision of becoming the leading and preferred international Centre for training, education and research in African peace and security, noting that KAIPTC was the first African peacekeeping training institution to offer postgraduate courses.
He said, “We are resolute about investing in the future, a future of peace, human security, stability and development, and I am proud to say that the Centre is progressively achieving its vision in this regard”.
AVM Evans duly recognized the dedicated workforce of the Centre, warm relationship with stakeholders, supportive and collaborative engagements with development and institutional partners, and an active and engaging governing board, as having collectively contributed to the KAIPTC’s successes so far.
The Commandant urged the graduating students to be avid monitors of developments in the nation and readily offer their professional perspectives to support nation building processes with the same measure as they would pursue their personal desires in life. He ended his remarks by charging the graduates to keep learning, unlearning and relearning to stand out among their peers.
The Hon. Minister for Defence and Chairman of the Governing Board of the Centre, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, who was the Special Guest of Honour, in his keynote address, pointed to education as one of the universally renowned ways of addressing security problems. “We have all observed with great trepidation the increasing challenges and threats to peace and security…these challenges call for a multi-stakeholder and multidimensional response, and one globally-recognized way of addressing them is through education”, he revealed.
He further noted that the KAIPTC is commendably equipping students with the academic foundation, analytical tools and practical skills they need towards conflict prevention, peace-making, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and reconstruction within broadly inclusive and participatory environments.
He applauded the KAIPTC for its immense contribution to the successful elections through its hosting of a colloquium on elections which assembled all stakeholders in election security to discuss and strategize to promote peace during the elections.
Hon. Kunbuor encouraged the KAIPTC and especially the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR), never to backslide in attaining the goals of the Tertiary Education Sector stated in the Education Strategic Plan 2010-2020, which among others, aims at upholding quality standards in management and teaching and learning to foster the development of world-class human resource.
Professor Houston Davis, Vice Provost of the University System of Georgia, USA, promised to uphold the partnership between the two institutions to achieve quality and excellent quality education. “Please know that the Kennesaw State University (KSU) and the University System of Georgia, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you (KAIPTC) in valuing and advocating for the important role of education in our communities and nations”.
He finally charged the students to be committed to solving difficult problems and always be persistent in all their endeavours.
Ms. Baaba Blankson, overall best student for the Master of Arts in Gender, Peace and Security class in her valedictory speech on behalf of the graduating classes, said they were able to attain this feat as a result of hard work and persistence. She pledged their willingness to do the nation and the world proud.