2nd September: After a series of training on ‘Specialized Course on Preventing Violent Extremism’ held for Peace Council Members in the Northern, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West regions in Ghana, the final session has been held in Tamale on 30th August 2021 to climax the month-long capacity development programme. The last session was targeted at the core technical staff of the Regional Peace Councils in the four (4) regions.
The training is under the ‘Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) Training for Regional Peace Councils in Northern Ghana’ project, which is implemented by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre for the National Peace Council, and funded by the Littorals Regional Initiative (LRI) of the USAID. The goal of the project is to build the capacity of regional peace council members and technical staff to enable them to plan, develop and implement action plans that build resilience to violent extremism in their districts and local communities in the northern part of Ghana.
Welcoming participants to the training, the Deputy Commandant of KAIPTC. Air Cdre George Arko-Dadzie, noted with concern the gradual spread of violent extremism within the region, with the ultimate intention of the perpetrators to reach the littoral regions. He said: “In all this, the most vulnerable groups are the border towns and local communities. As such, there is the need for partners to remain committed in this fight against terrorism and violent extremism by building the resilience of local towns and communities to prevent recruitment and radicalization of these groups”.
He urged participants to actively engage during the training because “it is through such engagements that collectively, we can offer recommendations to address the menace of violent extremism in our country and in the region as a whole”.
The Deputy Country Representative of the USAID/ Office of Transitional Initiatives Littorals Regional Initiative, Ms. Dalia Haj-Omar wished all participants an insightful learning experience.
The LRI is a USAID/Office of Transitional Initiatives-funded program which seeks to shore up stability and prevent violent extremism in the Littoral countries, including Ghana, Togo and Benin. It is a quick-response mechanism supporting local counterparts across five West African coastal countries to withstand the increasing pressures of violent extremist organizations by addressing instability factors including conflict, weak social cohesion, and governance deficits. The program provides grants to local partners to implement home-grown, innovative strategies aimed at building local capacities and resilience to prevent the spread of violent extremism.
The project is timely because of existing vulnerabilities in the Northern Regions of Ghana that bode negatively for violent extremist tendencies.
Candidly, the Northern part of Ghana is relatively underdeveloped compared to the South. The causes of this under-development are mainly socio-economic in nature – the demand for labour and better economic prospects constantly leads to migration to the south. Secondly, inadequate and uneven provision of infrastructure and investment in social services have contributed to the North-South disparities. Compounding this problem is a teeming unemployed youth, high poverty levels and high illiteracy rate. Topped with weak states institutions/law enforcement agencies and conflict, this context provides a fertile field for violent extremist activities to sprout among vulnerable/ groups.
The project thus aims to prevent violent extremism by equipping participants to; identify vulnerabilities and risks factors of women and youth radicalisation and involvement in violent extremist groups at local levels; evaluate the effectiveness of existing actions at the local and national levels to address the risks identified, and formulate complimentary local and national action plans for development and implementation by the Regional Peace Councils.
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.